Searching for a new job is tough even before you take added pressures into consideration. The mental strain and emotional rollercoasters that go along with just deciding which positions to apply to and not knowing if it’s the right position for you are hard enough. If you add in any number of financial aspects on top of that, it could be enough to drive you up a wall.
Don’t make it any harder on yourself! Here are a few simple things to avoid when working through your searching and interviewing that will keep you in consideration above other candidates who fall into these traps.
Error Filled or Unformatted Resume – A single typo shouldn’t necessarily disqualify you but submitting a resume with several spelling and/or grammatic mistakes will do the trick, as will wonky formatting that’s difficult to read and follow. Employers and recruiters are reviewing several resumes for every position and your resume is your first impression. Make sure you’re submitting a clean, concise, and well formatted resume.
Inconsistent or Lack of Communication – When you’ve received a reply to your resume submission or are contacted through a job board where you’ve posted your resume, one sure way to be disqualified is to not respond in a timely manner. If the next step in your career is important enough to post your resume or submit applications, it should be a priority to accept and respond to all interested parties, even if the position isn’t ideal for you. In most cases, employers and recruiters need to fill positions quickly and a delayed response can portray poor communication skills and low desire for the position. Also, you never know when that same company or recruiter might have an opening that is exactly what you want in the future. If you’ve been a strong, honest, and timely communicator in the past, it’s likely you will be remembered and will be put at the top of the list.
Dishonesty and Going Back on Your Word – Did you beef up your resume and exaggerate a little on how you’ve mastered all the latest and greatest technologies or add a few extra years of experience? Yep, you’re disqualified too. This is something that never plays out well for any candidate. Good managers will always uncover the truth while interviewing and now you’re labeled as a liar, which never leaves your reputation. It’s far better to be absolutely honest and clear about what you do and do not know. Honesty builds a good foundation and many times managers are looking to teach selected candidates certain skills the way their team utilizes them “their way” so a couple less years under your belt could be better.
As for going back on your word, that’s also a quick way to damage your reputation permanently. The job market is tough and employers and recruiters know this. Be transparent about other applications you’ve submitted, interviews, or offers on the table. If you get an offer for one position but are waiting on another offer, just say so. Most of the time waiting a day or two won’t hurt, but accepting a position and exercising a company’s efforts to prepare for your start date and going back against that is far worse. Again, think about how you’d be viewed in the future if that perfect position you want is open at that same company or with that same recruiter.