You’ve worked hard to get where you are — but you still have so much further to go. And if the next step on your journey is landing your next big job, then you’re going to want to be careful. You’re at an exciting juncture, but this is also a time when things can go wrong. Nobody wants to learn that they’ve missed out on their big chance for a job they really wanted, yet many people make simple mistakes and fail to consider key issues as they apply and interview for jobs.
Here are some problems that could keep you from landing the job of your dreams.
Flunking the background check.
When a company hires an employee, it takes on a major risk and responsibility. A company’s employees are its heart and soul. The right ones can drive a business forward, while the wrong ones can cause a business to stagnate or even be put at risk. That’s why background checks are so important for companies that are hiring, explain the experts behind one of the best background check companies in the business.
A typical background check is going to cover things like criminal records, credit history, and past names and aliases. If you have something sketchy or unsavory in your background, these tests are going to find it. That can be a major problem, and it can keep you from getting a job.
So what can you do? For starters, don’t lie. You won’t beat the background check experts. And don’t withhold information from the hiring manager, either. Instead, be up-front and take the opportunity to anticipate and explain what they’re going to find in your background check. What have you learned? How have you grown? Make your story a positive one.
Showing up to the interview poorly dressed.
As the years have gone by, office environments have grown more and more casual. In many cases, this is a positive thing. But it can make life more difficult when you’re trying to figure out what to wear for a job interview. Traditionally, job interview attire was formal (men, for instance, would wear suits). That’s still somewhat true, but there are other factors now. If you’re interviewing with an app development company in an office full of people in cargo shorts, showing up in a three-piece suit might make you look like a poor fit for the company culture.
Generally, the trick is to dress a little better than your interviewers. If the business space is ultracasual, you can top cargo shorts with little more than a polo and slacks, a sundress, or something else with a neat-but-casual vibe. If the office is business casual, grab a jacket or a suit.
There are still tricky things to worry about here, of course. The exact hierarchy of classy clothes is hard to nail down. Great women’s professional clothing looks good in almost any setting, but what’s the “exchange rate” between a given top and a suit, blazer, button-up, or T-shirt? In the end, your best bet is simple. When in doubt, dress a little nicer than you think you might have to. Worst case, you’ll just look a little eager for the job — and is that really a bad thing?
Botching your resume.
Your resume is your chance to show off everything that you’ve done so well for so many years. But you need to be careful about how you do so, because a bad resume can really destroy your chances of landing the job that you want.
So what makes a good resume? For starters, a bit of restraint. Experts recommend that you limit your resume to one page and keep formatting simple and straightforward. The latter is particularly important in our connected era, because you never know who might be reading your resume on a different application or word processor than you used to create it.
Want to get next-level? Then try using keywords in your resume. Some employers now search for such keywords (and you can tweak your resume to highlight different keywords depending on the job that you are targeting).
A great resume is just one part of your journey to your next job. But if you can avoid mistakes and pitfalls, you’ll have a great shot at a brighter future.