The job-hunting process is never without some stress and anxiety, but job seekers can make it easier if they avoid some common mistakes. We’ve talked with representatives from our top-rated resume writing company, and they’ve shared a few of the worst gaffes job hunters can make.
1. Lying On A Resume/Interviews
While we highly recommend using a professional resume writing company to create your resume, it’s crucial that the information you provide to these writers is correct and true. It’s just too easy for a hiring manager to discover the truth, and it’s easy to understand why someone would be hesitant to hire you after you’ve been caught in a lie.
According to hiring managers, some of the most common lies people tell include lying about their level of education or the college from which they graduated or lying about work history.
For instance, if you were fired from a job, you might consider lying about it during an interview. A better idea would be to own the truth and describe why you were fired and spin the situation so that you focus on what you gained from the experience. If you were fired due to incompetence, you might express what steps you’ve taken to improve.
If you were fired because you didn’t get along with your boss, you might talk about how you’ve worked hard to improve your communication skills and conflict resolution skills so that you can be a more effective and valuable employee from this point forward. Resist the urge to talk trash about your boss and co-workers. If it truly was a terrible situation, simply state that it was a difficult situation, and that you are looking forward to working in a positive, energetic environment where you can truly contribute to the company.
People also often lie about their abilities and skills. You might state that you are fluent in a foreign language, when you really only have conversational skills. You might also lie about proficiency with various computer programs. If these programs or the language are essential for the job position, it’s quickly going to become apparent that you don’t possess the needed skills for the job and you could end up fired for these falsehoods.
If you don’t possess all the necessary skills, but still believe you are a great fit for the job, stress that in your cover letter and at job interviews. Discuss the steps you mean to take to ensure that you are up to speed and why you still would be a great choice for the job. This approach is always preferable to lying.
2. Sending Out Impersonal Resumes & Cover Letters
When you send out a resume and cover letter, these should be customized to include the skills listed in the job posting or for the job position. Additionally, the cover letter should be addressed to the hiring managers, so you really need to take the time to find the name of this person.
Sending out a cover letter “to whom it may concern,” definitely doesn’t impress a hiring manager. When you research the position and research the hiring manager or hiring team, this shows that you truly care about your job search and that you aren’t just sending out hundreds of cookie-cutter resumes to tons of different firms.
3. Limiting Your Search To Online Postings
While you certainly will find some great job opportunities posted online, these are just the tip of the iceberg as to what truly is available. Many jobs are never posted, which is why it is so important that you keep building your personal network.
Get that LinkedIn page built and start connecting with friends, co-workers and other business associates. Attend business meetups or join a group relevant to your industry. Keep in mind; networking is not just about what people can do for you; it’s also about what you can bring to the table and making valuable connections.
For instance, imagine that you are at a business function and an executive from a company where you might want to work approaches you and engages in conversation. Perhaps they mention that they will be visiting your hometown, and want some restaurant recommendations. This seems like a fairly unimportant conversation, but if you provide some valuable tips and advice and are friendly and personable, this person will remember you and if a job opportunity comes up; your name might spring to mind.
In addition, if you have several years of professional work experience, it can be smart to talk with a professional recruiter about your job search. Recruiters often have the line on some great job opportunities that aren’t posted online. Companies often will hire a recruiter to find a short list of great job candidates.
4. Failing To Prepare For Interviews
A resume writing company can provide you with a great resume and cover letter, and this certainly can help you score job interviews. However, if you fail to prepare for each interview, this can cost you many opportunities.
Our resume writing company experts have provided us with tons of interview advice, some is fairly easy and some requires a bit of work. The easy components include ensuring that you wear neat, clean and appropriate business attire. Get a haircut and look your best as this sends a positive message to hiring managers but also helps you feel more professional and serious.
Additionally, bring a business tote or briefcase and fill it up with a few pens, a tablet for taking notes and a few copies of your resume. Turn off your phone or leave it in your car, and ensure that you arrive five minutes early for the interview. Showing up late makes a terrible impression, and it’s better to show up 30 minutes early and waste some time in a coffee shop around the corner than to show up frazzled and even one or two minutes late for an interview.
Those are the easy components of the job interview; the harder elements require a bit more work. Before you head to any interview, research the company thoroughly, so that you understand the company goals and mission. It’s also wise to try and research the hiring manager if possible to learn a little bit about the person who will be conducting the interview.
Furthermore, you also need to practice answering interview questions. Practice making eye contact and practice how you sit, as well as working on thoughtful answers to typical interview questions. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel during the interview process.
If you have some tricky issues that you might need to explain, such as being fired or a gap in employment or a difficult work experience, spend extra time preparing some good answers for these tough questions. A good resume writing company might provide career coaching services, and it can be smart to invest in these services, especially if you are new to the workforce or you simply feel like your skills need a bit of polishing.
5. Sending Out A Low-Quality Resume
Previously, we mentioned that it’s a huge mistake to lie on a resume or fail to customize a resume, but those aren’t the only issues that turn off hiring managers. Depending on which survey you read, at least 60% of all hiring managers will throw away your resume if it contains careless errors or typos. You might be a fantastic job candidate, but that one spelling error can kill your chances of getting an interview.
Hiring a resume writing company can ensure that your resume doesn’t contain spelling or grammatical mistakes and that the resume features a consistent, easy-to-read format. However, you do need to double-check your contact information. After all, a resume writer won’t know if your email address or phone number is correct.
It’s also wise to create a professional email address just for your job hunt or business dealings. About 30% of hiring managers admit that they passed over job applicants that either had an inappropriate email address (example: funnygirl29@hotmail) or used the email for their current workplace.
The first issue shows that you don’t take yourself seriously enough to have a professional email address while the second issue showcases that you have no qualms about using company emails and company time to search for a job elsewhere. Neither will inspire a hiring manager to contact you for an interview.
Avoiding these five mistakes can truly help increase your chances of finding a great new job. If you want to get started on the process, the first step is creating that resume and cover letter.
At Top 5 Resume Writers, we’ve compiled a short list of options to help you select the best resume writing company. Our top pick, Resume Writing Group, produced a dynamic, error-free resume that we feel will truly attract the attention of a hiring manager. We highly recommend that you select their service when you purchase your professional resume.