Everyone employs different strategies and plans when looking for a new job. This more or less makes job hunting a full-time job in itself. In our quest to find employment there are a number of things that we may do (knowingly or unknowingly) that can be considered ‘annoying’ or a ‘no-no’ by potential Employers. …
1. Underselling yourself. As you may be aware your CV is your marketing document. This is the document which you use to sell your skills and experience. You won’t be doing yourself any justice if you undersell yourself by not providing all the information that is necessary to match your profile to the job description. Adding any bonus skills you can offer, in addition to the core ones required of the position may enhance your application.
2. Not providing updated contact information. No Employer wants to call a number that is out of service or send an email to an inactive email address – and it does happen. Always make sure you provide your updated contact information and address; keep it updated because some recruitment programmes extend over longer timeframes, or might be relaunched for any number of reasons a few weeks later.
3. Shoddily written CVs and cover letters. Your CV is your personal shop window and it should be clear, well organized and professional.
4. Applying for job openings that you are not qualified for. Take some time to read job specifications until you understand exactly what the job entails. It really does help if you highlight their list of requirements and preferences so you can clearly see what’s at the heart of the Spec – then make sure you answer each one in your application. If you keep applying for job openings that don’t match your profile the Hiring Manager may not take you seriously, even if you do finally apply for a job that you qualify for.
5. Applying for a job half-heartedly. This applies to Candidates who apply for job openings that they do not intend to accept offers for. Once you have the full job details such as remuneration, job location, benefits, etc you can decide if that’s a job you really want. Experienced Hiring Managers can tell how serious you are – and they often voice their shock at the number of Candidates who apply when the job isn’t actually of genuine interest to them. It makes no sense at all.
6. Withdrawing from a recruitment program without informing the Hiring Manager. There are Candidates who go silent and do not respond to emails or phone calls. Always inform the Employer of your intention to withdraw from the program even if you don’t provide a reason. It’s simply rude not to and you’ll never be taken seriously again.
7. A prima-donna attitude. Potential employers do not like Candidates who make firm demands from day one and those who do are seen this way. You may know what you are worth, but you are a total stranger (and one of many applicants) when your file first lands on the Hiring Manager’s desk – and receiving an application where the Candidate declares themselves to be the only person who could possibly do the job and then demand a certain salary or, don’t both getting back to me doesn’t convey conviction and positive interest; it will actually switch the Hiring Manager off because it displays an overall approach and attitude that may not be desirable in other areas. Direct your enthusiasm, energy and abilities in a controlled and professional manner instead.
8. Persistently asking for updates on the progress or status of your job application. It is important to ask about the status of your application and a good Hiring Manager will keep you informed. Often they have their own processes and timeframe, plus they may need to refer files to a colleague who is busy; all of that takes as long as it takes and touching base around once per week doesn’t allow them to forget you. Making numerous phone calls or sending lots of emails can hurt your chances of getting that job because they feel hustled. Instead, during your first follow-up, ask when would be a reasonable time for you to enquire again so you develop a helpful relationship, not a nuisance one.
9. Consistently requesting a change of interview time or reporting dates. Genuine emergencies do happen and no Hiring manager will mind rescheduling under those circumstances, but if you request for a change more than once then the Employer may have the notion that you are not serious about your job application. Don’t forget, they deal with multiple Candidates and there are only so many grand-mothers who can have a heart attack this week… they’ve heard it all before.
Whilst I fully accept Hiring Managers have their own faults, one of which is forgetting that you are a real person and you need a job – and not to be lost in an ineffective system or ignored – but all said and done it is prudent to avoid the above kind of behaviour because it may hurt your quest for that dream job. My hope is this information will help you in your job hunt. Best of luck.
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