The entire process of job searching is enough to unnerve the calmest individual. There’s the resume to complete. Then there’s the circulation of said resume, followed by the horrendous game of “hurry up and wait” that is played by every candidate from the time they apply for the position until after the interview. If you’re a nail bitter and a job-searcher, it’s a wonder you have any nails left. I’m just saying.
All jokes aside, I feel your pain. With that type of pressure and nervousness mounting, it is no wonder that common mistakes are often made during a time when the stakes are far too high and one mistake makes the difference between moving forward in the process and being kyboshed in the first round.
Here are a few common mistakes you could be making and ways to avoid them entirely or fix them swiftly. Enjoy!
Many job seekers will pad or embellish their resumes. The other term for this is flat-out, lying.
It is a terribly tempting practice because; it seems easy to get away with.
Embellishments look good going down on paper, feel good when they get you the call for an interview and even taste good as the seemingly sweet taste of victory lingers around while you wait to hear: “We’d like to make you an offer.” There’s only one problem, you’re resume embellishments can and will be checked! Believe that and once your potential new employer finds out you’re trying to FLUFF your way in the door, you’ll be history!
Honesty is always the best policy. If an employer is forced to question your trust from the onset, you’re not likely to get the position and news will travel fast. Employers network and as such, they talk. Make sure when your name comes up, the conversation goes something like:
“Lisa is an excellent candidate; I could tell she possessed a lot of integrity to match her tenure in the industry. It’s a shame I couldn’t get approval to add a position, but I heard you were looking—Lisa would be a great fit.” VS. “Lisa flat out lied on her resume, I did some digging and found out she never had responsibility for XYZ. If she heads your way for an interview, steer clear.”
Give your potential employer, “Just the facts,ma’am/sir. Just the facts.” If you are looking to enhance your resume, do so by focusing on skills you actually possess and jobs you actually did. Play up the way (s) your skills lent themselves well to the jobs under your charge and the bottom line impact you made at your organization as a result.
Need help enhancing your resume? We can help! Click here to book your 1:1 resume consultation.
Nerves! Nerves! And more nerves! Job interviews make us nervous, I completely get that. However nothing makes you look more ill prepared, caught off guard and quite frankly lessens your intelligence more than the use of filler words. We use them without even realizing it. How do I know? Because I’ve been guilty of it, I sometimes need to speak to think through something. As a result the um’s yeah’s and so’s can at times be plentiful. Take heart, all hope isn’t lost. This is fixable.
Record yourself speaking conversationally or as a part of your interview prep. Playback the recording and tick mark how many times you drop filler words. The number will completely, FREAK YOU OUT! But, it’s ok. We can change it, I promise. There’s hope. I promise!
Now that you’re painfully aware of how much you rely on fillers, record yourself again. This time instead of tick marking, I want you to replace your filler words with things like:
Lastly, you can always leverage the power of the pause. Now, to be clear, this doesn’t mean pause for minutes-at-a-time. A pause that long can seem like eons in a conversation. However, it does mean that you can and should pause long enough to repeat the question in your head and formulate a concise answer. By doing this, you again appear engaged in the conversation as well as thoughtful and intentional with your answers.
Need help prepping for an interview? We can help! Click here to book your 1:1 interview prep consultation.
You need to get back to work; this interview is the one with the organization you’ve been waiting on. You have all the skills they want. You passed the phone screen with flying colors. Now all you have to do is land the in-person interview and you’re off to the land of dedicated employees.
Seems simple enough, right? Yes, right. Right up until life happens and you wake up in a cold sweat with flu-like symptoms. YIKES, ICK and OH BOY!
What do you do now? Well, while you may want to solider on, dragging yourself from the bed and into the interview in a valiant effort to mask your illness, contain your contagions and secure your dream job in one fell swoop—that is highly unlikely and probably not the best choice.
Reschedule! Now, notice the aforementioned circumstances are extreme. It is important to note that only in extreme cases such as the scenario noted above or something like it should rescheduling be an option. Anything less and you run the risk of the recruiter/hiring manager, viewing you as someone who can’t manage time effectively.
However, in cases of illness and/or serious emergencies, good recruiters and hiring managers will want you to be at your best. Their ability to make a solid decision about you as a candidate depends on it. Additionally, they’ll also want to remain healthy and that is hard to do if you come to your interview and give them a gift that keeps on giving! J
Reschedule, get well, refresh on your prep and go land that job offer!
For more information on how to properly reschedule (phone, vs. email), click here to receive a more detailed answer to your question via email.
I hope these tips have been helpful. Please feel free to leave your comments. We love hearing from you! You can also drop in the comments more job search, career and professionalism topics you’d like to read about and I’ll do my best to blog about them.
All the best,
The Polished Professional
Aisha Patterson is the owner of Professional Polishing Touch. PPT is an emerging professional/personal development firm located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Professional Polishing Touch exists to help individuals, unlock their gifts, polish their skills and deliver excellence to the marketplace.