If you’re not used to interviewing, you may not know what to expect. We’ve listened to hiring managers, career experts, job recruiters and even our very own team of resume writers to find out some of the biggest interview mistakes job seekers make! Some are common, while others most of us would never dream of doing. Check the list and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes!
Showing up half an hour late. Hiring managers and interviewers are busy people. If you waste their time by being late to the interview, you’re not going to make a good impression. Many interviewers will discard your application just for being late.
Wearing jeans to your interview. Surprisingly, some people actually wear jeans and shorts to interviews. Even if the industry you’re applying to is casual, you should still wear dress pants and a formal top. Dressing too casual is a sign you’re not serious about the position.
Asking about salary and vacation time during the first interview. Of course we all care about how much the salary is and can’t wait to get those days off, however if you bring this up before an offer has been made, employers will question your interest in the position and think you don’t care what job you take as long as you get a paycheck.
Questionable social media content. Believe it or not, over 50% of employers do briefly check your social media sites. Having revealing photos, being intoxicated or having very bad grammar in your posts may cause alarm for employers. Be sure to clean up your sites before you interview.
Talking extensively about your personal life. You should be personable and provide details about questions asked, however there’s nothing worse for interviewers than candidates talking too much about irrelevant information, keeping the interview from progressing. Try not to bring up too many personal details unless prompted to by the interviewer.
Bad-mouthing a former boss or employer. Ever heard the phrase “it’s a small world”? In many industries, people have worked with many different professionals over the years. Don’t risk making yourself look bad by talking negatively about a former boss or employer who may know or have ties to this new company. If you do this, it also worries employers that you may speak badly about them in the future.
Not doing your research ahead of time. This is one of the most frequent complaints made by employers. Many candidates don’t know much about the company they’re interviewing for, making employers question how much they really want the position. A little research goes a long way. At least check out the website, board members and an annual report before you go for your interview.
Not asking enough questions. If you’re not asking questions, employers don’t think you’re serious about the position. Ask questions that show you’ve done your research and that relate to the position you’re applying for.
Stating that you’re only applying for the position as a last resort. Employers assume you’re applying for other positions as well, but don’t make it seem like you’re applying anywhere and everywhere. Try to limit sharing that you’re looking at other positions unless specifically asked.
Chewing gum or answering your phone during the interview. Believe it or not, some people actually take a phone call during the interview. Needless to say, this will NOT win you any brownie points with interviewers! You should also be sure to spit out your gum before the interview. It’s distracting and takes away from your professionalism.
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com.au/
Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Resume Writing specialist at RedStarResume.
Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!
Resume writing is an art form and while there are no exact rules that will ensure you get the job, there are plenty of mistakes that you can make that will prevent your resume from being noticed. No matter if you are a recent student or a high flying executive, a compelling written resume that highlights your skills and promotes your talents to the hiring manager will ensure that you give yourself every opportunity of making it to the interview stage.
What will make my resume stand out from the competition?
The most important aspect of resume writing is marketing yourself correctly. Do not waste the reader’s time with irrelevant information that will not aid your job description. Statistically your resume has less than 30 seconds to shine so make sure the most important information is placed on the front page. If you require a certain qualification or licence make sure this is easily located on your resume. The more you make the recruiter or hiring manager work to find your information, the greater chance they will delete your resume.
Replace the Objective Statement with a Qualifications Profile:
Do you have a generic, obsolete and boring objective statement at the top of your resume? Something that reads like: “Self-motivated professional seeking a position with a company where I can develop my career and skills”. If so, remove this immediately and replace it with a qualifications profile or career summary. Rather than telling the reader what you want, tell the reader what you can offer their organisation and therefore why you would be a good fit for this role.
Target the Reader:
As a hiring manager, when I read job candidate resumes, I want to instantly find certain requirements that I am looking for in prospective candidates. For example, if I am hiring a computer programmer and one of the requirements for the job is to be proficient in a range of computing languages such as C, Java, Perl etc. then I expect to see this on page 1 of the resume. By hiding this important information on page 3 is not beneficial for this job application. Employers can often receive hundreds of resumes for a particular job. The harder you make their life, the greater the chance that your resume will be deleted.
With demand for jobs so competitive, many firms now use software programs as a way of performing “first round interviews”. Using selected keywords will ensure that your resume passes the first stage of selection and will not be deleted before a hiring manager has even had a chance to read your application. The best way to find these keywords is by simply reading the job positions. See what the company is looking for and make sure your resume is full of these keywords!
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com
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Is your resume not getting you the job interviews you had hoped for? Are you applying for hundreds of jobs online but not receiving a single phone call? If you have the skills and experience to perform a certain job, but you can’t seem to get yourself an interview, it could be time to “pimp my resume!”
Just like the TV show aims at taking old, worn out and run down cars and turning them into new, modern “pimped” out cars, it could be time to give your old resume the boot and upgrade to a new and fancier model. We all want to be driving around in the newest and best looking car, and the same goes for your resume. However, the biggest difference between driving an old car and using your old resume is that the car will still get you from point A to point B, but an old resume will only end up in the deleted folder!
Find below 5 easy tips you can implement that will help you pimp your resume!
Strategic Key Words:
A great way to pimp your resume and ensure that it stands out and gets noticed by software programs is to use strategic keywords throughout your resume. Recruiters or hiring managers will often skim over resumes and look for keywords or they may use software programs to find keywords. These can be changed depending on the job you are applying for.
Remove all unnecessary information:
The best looking resume contains only relevant information that adds value to your job application. If your existing resume has the title “curriculum vitae” or “Professional CV”, remove this immediately. It goes without saying that if you are applying for a job, your application is obviously your curriculum vitae – there is no need to include this irrelevant information. Take a read through your resume and ensure that only value added information is included.
Achievements and Recognition:
An achievements and recognition area on your resume can really make your application stand out over the competition. Rather than boring the reader with all the daily duties you perform, inspire the reader with achievement statements that show off all the wonderful skills and achievements you have performed. Remember, the best way to present your achievements is to back them up with examples. Qualitative examples are even better!
When you sit down to read a book, do you ever stop to think about the font? Of course you don’t because typically all books are written with an easy to read font. Could you imagine reading through a novel that used hard to read fonts? You would put the book down before you completed the first chapter! The same goes for your professional resume. Use an easy to read, modern font (I like the font “Calibri”) and make it as easy as possible for the reader.
Give your resume a new modern look. Do not use old and outdated resume templates that are floating around the internet. Although these templates may be free, they are a free for a reason! When you open up your resume ask yourself the question – “If I were a hiring manager, would I be impressed with this resume?” If the answer is no, then it’s time for a change and a makeover is needed.
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com
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What can you do to be competitive when looking for a new job? Writing a quick resume late at night and applying for random jobs is NOT going to get you the job you are looking for. Is there an educational or university course being offered which could help you now or in the long term? What skills do you have to shine above and beyond other candidates. Make a portfolio of your accomplishments you have achieved in your academic or professional life. In the current economic climate employers want to know what YOU have to offer them. You need to sell yourself! and sell your success.
Below are some further ideas and suggestions to find yourself a new job
Learn new skills: It’s never too late to try to learn a foreign language, or a new piece of computer software. (Best example was a senior archaeologist of 10 years who came to me wanting to change life direction. After 6 months learning spanish then travelling through Spain for another 6 months, The senior archaeologist is now a junior English/spanish translator)
Research: Find out where the demand is. While many industries are having trouble in this recession and laying of employees other areas are increasing employment
Sell yourself: Take time writing your resume, and tailor your resume specifically to each job you are applying. Do not send out the same resume to every job advert you see. Remember if you’re sending out generic resumes then you will get the same generic responses
Use your social network. Don’t be embarrassed about looking for work. Tell your friends and family. You never know who may be looking at hiring staff with your set of skills
Use free networking sites to advertise yourself and your skills. Promote yourself via sites like LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/
Use a recruitment agency that specialises in your particular area. Get to know the recruitment consultant, and follow them up weekly. The more you appear visible, the more they will remember you
Share with friends: Brainstorm ideas and share experiences with friends that are also looking for jobs. Exchange advice, strategies, and plans
Act straight away: When you get a lead or hear about a job opening apply immediately. There is no need to wait. Prepare your resume and send it immediately. The longer you wait the more likely another candidate will apply ahead of you
Don’t let a lack of experience discourage you from applying for jobs: When tailoring your resume towards the job you are applying for, concentrate on the skills and abilities you have to match that certain job
Most importantly: Don’t give up – Never stop looking. While you’re searching for your new job is there something else in the meantime you could be doing. Do you have skills to freelance? Maybe you can sell goods online. Keeping yourself occupied helps you to stay positive and upbeat rather than moping around the house feeling sorry for yourself
© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com
During the last decade, RedStarResume has successfully written hundreds of professional resumes for candidates across the globe. From the student or entry level position to the CEO, our unique, custom-made resumes are written specifically to match the goals and desires of our clients and to help them land jobs