Some job candidates are so over-eager to impress that they make mistakes. Others blunder simply because they don’t bother to prepare for a job interview. The successful candidates prepare, avoid over-reach and keep their cool.
Staffing firm Accountemps recently asked chief financial officers to relate their experiences with job candidates.
The CFOs interviewed said the most common mistake people make in application materials is failing to customize them for the position.
Some (24 percent) of executives said typos or poor grammar are the most frequent blunders. The biggest slip up during the interview is not knowing about the organization, CFOs said.
Accountemps identified eight of the biggest job search mistakes and offered advice on how to avoid them:
- Adding irrelevant information to application materials: Stick to only the facts employers would be interested in, which are typically your credentials, experience and accomplishments. Keep your resume and cover letter concise.
- Skipping proofreading: Even one or two resume typos can eliminate a candidate from consideration. Review your materials thoroughly, and ask a confidant to read them, too.
- Failing to prepare: Research the company by exploring its website and searching for recent news articles. Incorporate what you learn into your cover letter and interview responses by making the connection between what the company needs and what you offer.
- Lying: Be honest. Fabricating or overstating your experience is never acceptable.
- Having an unflattering online presence: Conduct an online audit of your social media pages and remove any posts that could be perceived as unprofessional or inappropriate.
- Being caught off-guard during salary discussions: Consult industry resources such as the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guides to learn about compensation ranges for jobs in your field. Understanding market trends will help you know what your skills and experience are worth.
- Relying solely on technology: Look for other ways to find job openings. Attend industry events, join professional associations and ask your current contacts for introductions to new ones.
- Going about your job search alone: Partner with a staffing firm and let them open doors for you. Be open to different types of positions, including temporary work.
As you can see, most of these big blunders can be easily avoided. Doing simple things like proofreading, and double-checking facts and claims can help you to avoid having an unsuccessful experience.