In the middle of a double dip recession, the last thing you want to be doing is saddling yourself with characteristics and ways to not get hired. Competition is fierce and jobs are more scarce, so ways to not get hired need to be identified and addressed if you are going to get a job or that long fought-for promotion. Don’t scream "don’t employ me" – sing the exact opposite and avoid these red flags for bosses, and these 10 things that shout don’t hire me.
1. Contact Information
Some of the ways to not get hired are as simple as ABC, don’t hire me. If you miss vital information from your resume, no-one is going to call you for that interview. One of the most common mistakes is to forget to include contact info on your CV. Also, in this day and age of multi-media, make it easy to be contacted. Have a cell phone number, a landline number, an email address and even a Facebook page where you can be reached. Don’t second guess how you might be called -cover all bases.
2. Incomplete Resume
Long gaps or missing information in your job history is going to raise questions. It is no shame to admit periods of unemployment these days. Put a positive spin on it. Instead of writing unemployed, why not use a phrase similar to ‘hunting for my next career opportunity’ – anything that gets the employer thinking something other than "gaps", will equal features that make you unemployable. Always be prepared to explain you career gaps when called to interview.
3. No References
Do not leave referees out of your resume. Even if you have a chequered job history, you need to find someone who has some positive things to say about you. Letting a prospective employer think you have no suitable referees is one of the sure ways to not get hired.
4. Poor Preparation
Not putting enough effort into your upcoming interview and not researching the company are features that make you unemployable compared to other candidates. Whether you are applying for a research doctorate position or mail sorter, you have to WANT the job, SHOW you want the job, and demonstrate WHY you want the job. It doesn’t matter how you are really feeling. Stop gap job, desperate for a job – show you want it.
5. Job Hopping
There are always going to be employers who look at job hoppers in an unfavourable light. If you are given the chance to explain why, be positive and show this isn’t why you are unemployed. Put each job in a positive light, demonstrate how you’ve grown with each move and be ready to explain yourself.
6. Doing the Diss
One of the ways to not get hired is to be negative about previous unemployment. If you have a string of failed jobs, do not put the blame on the job. Any prospective employer is going to see this as a red flag – you are not committed, difficult to please, and don’t stick around long enough to be strong employee material. Turn every negative into a positive.
7. Lazy Applications
When the competition is fierce, not putting your all into each and every application is one reason why you are unemployed. This is an employer’s market. You have to sell, sell, sell yourself. Use every trick you can think of for drawing attraction to your resume without covering it in stickers and printing it on scented paper. Even simple things like ringing up and finding out the name or position of the hiring manager so you can make a personal address to them wins brownie points.
8. Be Flexible
The most important aspect is to have a job. Being demanding of a prospective employer in terms of salary, benefits, hours and scope won’t cut it. Get your feet under the desk, make yourself indispensable and re-open negotiations. Try this beforehand and someone in the queue will always undercut you and get the job before you. These days, inflexibility is one of the key features that make you an unattractive prospect as an employee.
The oldest trick in the hiring manager’s book of interviews is asking the same question in various ways. This is to weed out the wheat from the chaff. If you are prepared, this technique won’t faze you. Demonstrating inconsistency shows either a disorganized mind or failure to adequately prepare – both are features that make you unemployable.
10. Lack of Ambition
Being unfocused or unmotivated are definite no-nos for job applicants. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have long term goals, but have some sold short-term ambitions. Show why this job is meeting those goals.
You owe it to yourself to be the best prepared in the job market you can be. Showering the situations vacant with applications can be a soul-destroying process. If you know you are doing the best you can and that you have dealt with those features and things that shout don’t hire me, it will lessen the pain and eventually, you will land that job.
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