You know the saying, “First impressions are lasting impressions.” This holds true for employers as well as everyone else. Another related saying is, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.”
Since employers often make quick judgments about candidates, deciding rapidly who they will consider seriously and who they will eliminate from the process, it is to your advantage to avoid these killer mistakes:
1. Submit a resume that is hard to decipher with no clear focus. This is an easier mistake to make than you might think. The resume may seem clear to you because you know what you did and you wrote the resume. But that does not necessarily mean that it is clear to the employer. Your resume needs to be clear enough and succinct enough that a recruiter can skim it in a few seconds and determine that you are a good match for the position that is open.
2. Create a LinkedIn profile that is incomplete and does not clearly articulate what you can do for your next employer. Recruiters are constantly reviewing LinkedIn profiles to vet and source candidates. If you make the mistake of creating an incomplete profile or not ensuring that your profile paints a clear picture of the value that you bring to an employer, you give recruiters a reason to keep looking.
3. Show up late for the interview with no explanation. If you land an interview, it usually means that you had a pretty good resume that at least got you past the first hurdle. But you will definitely turn the employer off if you are late for the interview and don’t have a good reason for it. Interviewers will not appreciate the fact that you did not respect their time.
4. Forget to do your research. It is quite common for interviewers to ask you what you know about the company. If you haven’t done the research, you can’t answer the question appropriately. Employers want to know that you are interested in working for them, not just that you want a job. Doing the research on the organization demonstrates that you have taken the time to learn about the company.
5. Respond to the interviewer’s questions with rambling answers that don’t actually answer the question. This is an easy trap to fall into if you haven’t practiced your answers ahead of time. Your answers should be concise and to the point. The interviewer should not have to wonder how your answer related to the question that was asked. For people who are naturally verbose, practice is critical so that they don’t talk too much and forget to give the interviewer exactly what he or she is looking for.
For professional assistance with making a great first and lasting impression as a candidate, set up an appointment to talk to a certified career coach and resume writer at https://www.timetrade.com/book/N3C3Q.