Nine Job Applicant Mistakes

Things Not To Do When Applying for a Job.

01, Nov, 2016

The moment an employer receives your cover letter and resume, your job interview has essentially begun. While most assume the most important step is when you meet employers and really sell yourself, it can also be details before and after the job interview that gives them a better sense of who you potentially are as an employee. So here are some common job search mistakes that can affect whether employers consider you at all.

In the Beginning

As part of your first impression, the cover letter and resume is your opportunity to highlight yourself. While different employers will prefer different styles of resumes, especially when considering technical positions, some things to avoid include:

  • Including WAY too much information: Hiring managers don’t want to have to read through a novel… just give them the important highlights.
  • Using the same resume for all job applications: No two jobs are exactly the same. So your resume should reflect the relevant technical skills, knowledge and experience for that job.
  • Neglecting to proofread and spellcheck: Does reeding this sentance make you want to reed further? Probably not.

Nice to Meet You

So you’ve made it to the interview and are now ready to meet them in person. According to one expert, only 2% of applicants actually get interviews. So knowing you’re already considered one of the better applicants, here are some considerations of what NOT to do:

  • Be too early: We all know not to arrive late, but arriving too early — for a variety of reasons — can also be bad (like running into the person who interviewed before you).
  • Forget to research the organization: Go beyond just what you can search online, and try to learn about the company’s corporate culture, their strengths, and even their competitors.
  • Be too casual: Whether it’s the way you dress or act, or by the responses you give, be sure to demonstrate yourself as the technology professional you are.

Leaving a Lasting Impression

The interview is done, and the rest is up to them, right? Not entirely. Unless one interview is significantly much better than the others, hiring managers typically have to weigh the pros and cons of each applicant. Here are some common post-interview mistakes of potential applicants:

  • Failing to send a thank-you note: Other candidates will most likely send a short, professional, personalized and timely thank-you note – don’t be the one who doesn’t.
  • Overlooking your references: Keep your references updated, let them know they could be potentially contacted, and be sure they actually have something good to say.
  • Leaving your old job badly: Although not as relevant to the new job you’ve been hired for, you may be looking for another job in the future. Try not to burn and bridges as the technology profession in Alberta can be quite tight-knit.

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