Keep in mind that it only takes a minute to make an excellent impression. But in that same minute you can send a red flag to your potential employer.
Here’s what to avoid in order to keep a recruiter from trashing your resume:
Generic Cover Letters – Make sure to customize your cover letter for the role you are applying for. Handing in a mediocre and generic cover letter will automatically send a message that you didn’t put in enough time to research and contemplate what makes you and your skills the best fit for the company. When you’ve taken the time to craft a strong resume and cover letter, feel free to ask for an interview at the bottom of your cover letter. This will show confidence, without seeming over the top.
Sending out wrong impressions – Did you know that some candidates’ mistakes are often made in the first few seconds of the interview? Since first impressions are important, make sure to greet the recruiter with a smile and a firm handshake. This reminder may seem overly basic, but you would be surprised how many applicants seem to forget these gestures.
Don’t forget to ask questions during (or after) the interview. Walking away without asking questions won’t lead to positive impressions.
Not sending a thank you note –Send a thank you note to the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. (Handwritten thank-you notes make a strong statement, and can help the recruiter remember you.)
If you’re not comfortable sending a handwritten note, sending a short email will do. Thank the interviewer for making the time to meet and get to know you. (Again, this helps you stand out.)
Poor Resume – Remember to proofread your resume(s) to get rid of typos and grammatical errors. These mistakes can be an instant opportunity killer. Ask a friend with strong writing skills to help you when you need a fresh set of eyes to look at your resume.
Be sure to trim down your resume and include only the most important information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. However, if you think other specific past experience can tie into the job,make sure to include it in your resume.Ideally, keep your resume to a single page. If you absolutely need to go over one page, limit yourself to no more than two.
Over-negotiating after the job offer – Recruiters find it annoying when a candidate goes back and forth during negotiation. Avoid this by being transparent in the beginning of the process regarding the starting date, your availability to work, salary requirements, benefits, and more. If you become too demanding, your potential employer may decide to drop you.
Use these tips to help ensure a positive outcome as you search for the job that best suits you and your skills.