Top 10 Job Hunting Blunders

Over the top… excessive makeup and jewellery can put off your potential employer.

Zanny email addresses, typos and spelling mistakes in cover letters and resumes, poor preparation for job interviews … these are just some of the job hunting sins that will get your application binned.

CareerOne.com.au surveyed recruiters and HR managers to compile the top 10 ways job hunters ruin their chances of landing the job.

1. Spelling mistakes on a CV/cover letter.

2. Using “crazy” email addresses – sexylovegod@hotmail.com

3. Inventing careers and skills

4. Interrupting an interviewer to look at a text message or take a call.

5. Reeking of that last minute cigarette as you walk into the job interview. Yuk.

Overpowering colognes/perfumes are also bad form.

6. Dressing inappropriately – the way you look should match the image of the company

you are interviewing with. Also, jewellery that jangles irritates interviewers.

7. Not setting up a quiet space for a phone interview. Pet noises, house mates/family

asking questions or loud music in the background are interview killers.

8. Sharing too much personal information.

9. Bagging your former employer or boss.

10. Not doing your home work about the employer – and worse – calling the employer by the name of their competitor.

“When we talk to people about some of these faux pax they think we are exaggerating but I have a real ‘silly email address collection taken from the resumes people have sent in via Ask Kate,” explained Kate Southam.

“I have seen lots of different types of ‘princess’ and a few pretty dark types of monkiers. People have to remember that a resume is a marketing document and they are the product so they need to ask themselves if an employer will really want a ‘totalprincess’ on their team or ‘onefatbludger’?”

“The same goes for voice mail messages. How hard is it to re-record your voice mail messages to sound professional just while you are job hunting? Recruiters will just bin someone if they call and get a voice mail message that is irreverant, vague or rude.”

“Spelling mistakes make employers worry that you will be equally careless on the job. Holding a phone interview in a room with a TV going in the background says you don’t take yourself or the job role on offer seriously. This is all commonsense but the mistakes are all too common,” says Kate.

Angela Vithoulkas who owns the VIVO Café franchise in Sydney said that one candidate came in for an interview dressed in a clown costume.

“I felt like sticking a sign on my forehead saying ‘are you serious?’. It’s hard to take someone seriously when they’re dressed as a clown.”

Helen Olivier, of The Olivier Group said that there was a degree of desperation in the market so people overstate their skills and salary.

“Often people assume they are going to earn a lot more than market reality just because they are moving jobs. If you are head-hunted it doesn’t necessarily mean you are worth higher
than market value.”

Andrew Brushfield of Robert Half in Australia says spelling mistakes on resumes is a pet hate for consultants.

“If you make errors on your application, employers assume you’ll make mistakes on the job.”

To make sure you don’t get caught short on the job hunt trail, now use our Editor, Kate Southam’s top 10 tips for job hunting success.

1. Research, research, research – on both yourself and the employer.

2. Tailor your resume and your interview prep for each role.

3. Rehearse for the interview – at least three times

4. Prepare to use real examples from your work history to answer interview questions

5. Pick your job interview outfit days ahead to make sure it fits and is stain free.

6. Be positive about your past work experience

7. Prepare questions to ask the employer

8. Always be 10 minutes early for an interview

9. Follow up with a thank you after the job interview

10. Be on your best behaviour but be genuine. If you have to pretend to get the job then it is not the job for you.

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