Many times, people interview for jobs – either with a staffing firm or directly with a local company – and never receive a call back for an additional interview or are told that there are no positions available.  No other feedback is given.  Outside of skills, many hiring managers are looking for those intangibles that might lead to a good cultural fit between the candidate and the current staff.  This can be hard to manage, since most times we do not have a good feel for what exactly the hiring manager or staffing manager is looking for.

However, there are some basic, common mistakes that so many people make during the job search.  These mistakes send up “red flags” to hiring managers that the person sitting in front of them might not be the “best-fit” for their company.  Correcting these “red flags” might not land you the position, but not correcting them will certainly stop your forward progression in its tracks.

1)       You should not ask the hiring manager to tell you about their company or their business.  You need to do research on both the company and the industry.  Not doing so indicates laziness and a lack of thoroughness. Neither quality will win you many job offers.

2)       You will be judged based on your email address, especially if it is something inappropriate.  Need more information?  Check out our article, First Impressions are not Always Face-to-Face, on our Candidate Resource Hub for more information on how and why to choose an appropriate email address.

3)       It is a myth that a resume has to be one page.   Most hiring managers or staffing managers don’t care if your résumé is 1 or 2 pages long. They do care that is easy to read and that it gives key information upfront. Your résumé can be one, two, or even three pages, depending on your experience.  If you are in doubt, you can follow this rule of thumb — less than 5 years experience only requires one page; more than five years may need two pages.

4)       It is your job to negotiate – not your parents.  Michigan State University surveyed more than 700 employers seeking to hire recent college graduates. Thirty-one percent said parents had submitted resumes on their child’s behalf (some without even informing the child) with 26% hearing from parents urging them to hire their child for a position. Four percent reported that a parent actually showed up for the candidate’s job interview.  These types of interventions can backfire, since they do not show great leadership or decision-making skills.

5)       If you have a weak handshake it will be noticed.  Want to know why?  Read the Candidate Connection Blog, titled “The Art of a First Impression” to find out how a firm handshake helps with that all-important first meeting.

Common sense is the rule of thumb when searching for a new job.  The qualities that your friends find so endearing about you are not the same qualities that a company looks for when expanding their staff.  Confident handshakes, the ability to stand on your own two feet, acting and presenting yourself appropriately and being prepared are all qualities that companies look for.  Highlighting these qualities, through both your resume and your actions, will help you find that best-fit job.

Snelling is here to help.  Our experienced staffing managers can work with you so that you can present yourself in the best way possible when working on assignment or interviewing for one of the many direct hire placements for which we recruit.  So visit our website to find your local Snelling office, or register online in order to directly apply for jobs in your area.