One thing to always bear in mind when job searching is that, most recruiters and hiring managers have been where you are now, at one point in their career, no matter where they are now, we’ve all applied for a role and had that feeling of panic as we send an application form off, and wonder if we proofread it enough.
Whilst nobody wants to pass judgement on you based on little errors alone, or, as it were, the odd faux pas. But, as Barclays has been very kind in reminding us, that keeping the same email you used to sign up to msn when you were 9 years old, probably isn’t the best way to come across, not many people take firstname.lastname@example.org that seriously when it’s an internship at a law firm.It’s why being a real recruiter is more than people perceive us to be on Linkedin, we aren’t all just chasing the commission, we do care about helping people start their careers, we do care about helping people make that move to benefit their life positively.
There are so many unfortunate slip ups made by both the young and inexperienced candidates, just out of university, as well as those far more experienced candidates who believe themselves to be beyond such simple missteps. Here are just a few to try and avoid.
- How you’re represented on social media, remember it’s highly likely that a prospective employer will look you up online, so choose a photo for Linkedin that shows your face clearly, make sure it’s a photo of just you, Linkedin is a portfolio for you not your friends and colleagues, a smile doesn’t hurt, neither does looking like you’re in work mode. Try to have a photo taken specifically for this, not one lifted from your holiday last year in Malaga.
- Being non-communicative, if you have applied to a position, make sure you’re able to receive and take calls, or inform them of your availability. If it’s not possible to make contact with you, don’t be surprised if when you call back 2 weeks later, the position is gone or they aren’t overly keen on working with you.
- This one is a personal bugbear, your CV is a concise sales advert, its sole purpose is to advertise your suitability for a role. So, proofread it, again and again, ask someone to check it, ask your recruiter to look it through, they should do this anyway, to make sure there aren’t any typos in their. See you noticed that typo, imagine this was a CV and all you can think of is that I used their, instead of there. Let your CV represent you in the best way possible.
- Failing to show at a job interview is very frustrating, it’s highly likely that someone else would have loved to be there in your place, and would not have missed it. There are always things that come up, but it takes a couple of minutes to ring and inform them that you are unable to attend for any reason. If you have described yourself as highly organised, then don’t be late, they will be watching for that. If you fail to show, there’s very little chance you’ll be given another opportunity.
- So you’ve arrived at an interview, on time, dressed smartly, it’s looking fantastic, but when you’re asked what attracted you to this company, you realise you have no real idea what they do. Always research the company, if you don’t know who they are, how can you really say that you’re interested in working for them?
- References available upon request, however when requested, you panic and don’t have their details, or haven’t actually spoken to the people you’ve asked to be your reference. If you intend upon someone being your reference, make sure you have their permission and contact details, and ideally a written testimonial, so that when you’re asked to show you have references, you can just pass them over.
- Lying about your current salary, or not being consistent, have a proper sit down, and work out what you need from any job as a minimum, and then research the position you want at several places to try and find the average, then work with a desired salary, this isn’t for recruiters to be nosey, it’s so we don’t waste your time with roles that either you can’t afford to do, or have a bit more work to do to reach that section of your career.
- Keeping your questions to the standard, “what do you do here?” or just asking about benefits, it doesn’t exactly incite confidence in your interest in the organisation, really go through the website, and find news stories, quote a blog, or comment on a project they did recently, show you are a good fit for them and are as excited by the company as they are.
- If there are important things, such as holidays, availability, or working hours you need to sort out prior to starting a job, then these are things you need to explain as soon as you’re able to, this might make or break a job offer, and if they know early on, they may be able to make allowances for, and things such as pre-booked holidays will be honoured if they know.
- So, you’ve navigated everything well, application was fantastic, your interview exemplary, and you’ve landed a job offer… Either accept or decline, do not go into ghost mode, this isn’t only unfair on the company and any recruiter involved, but also to other candidates who have just been turned down from a position they really wanted.