by Jeanne Wright
There are common boo-boos that job applicants can make, and believe us: These employers notice them. While they may not necessarily make or break your future chances with a business, you want to make the best impression possible, right? Right!
Steer clear of these three things:
1. Not Leaving Enough Information in a Voicemail Message.
After your initial greeting — during which you address the person as “Ms.,” “Mr.,” or with another appropriate prefix unless otherwise specified — you should immediately state your own name, the date and time, and the reason for your call. If you recently met this person and are now following up, make sure you state that — for example, “We met at the medical conference last week.”
When ending your voicemail, don’t forget to leave your phone number (perhaps even twice), and always thank the person! They took the time to listen to your voicemail and you want to be hearing back from them. Express your appreciation for their time and energy.
2. Not Being Prepared for an Interview.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Not arriving early.
- Not appearing appropriately dressed and well-groomed.
- Not having several copies of your resume and any other necessary documents printed out and kept neatly in a binder, portfolio, etc.
When you respect yourself and have high standards for yourself, other people will do the same and take you seriously. No employer is going to be impressed with an unkempt applicant who arrived late with a sloppy, unorganized resume. They scheduled you for an interview so you could show them what you’re capable of; don’t make them regret it as a waste of time!
3. Stretching the Truth Too Much on Your Resume.
Speaking of resumes, we all (hopefully) know the things you should never do and the things that you can sometimes get away with when it comes to applying for new jobs. For example, some people believe it’s acceptable to stretch the truth on your resume a little; and if it’s something you can support concretely, why not?
However, there is most definitely a line to be drawn. If you can’t back up what you have on your resume, and your potential future employer checks up on your references or calls previous employers only to find out that you were dishonest in your credits and experience, you’re in big trouble! (Aside from that, it’s just really, really embarrassing.)
In today’s job market and economy, you have to raise the bar and give your competitors a run for their money. If you steer clear of these common mistakes that a lot of other applicants are going to undoubtedly make, you can all but guarantee that your resume is going to move up in the pile and you’ll be called back for a second interview. Good luck!
Jeanne Wright writes for law blogs, such as The Best Online Paralegal Schools.