Mistakes that Cost Young Job Applicants a Second Interview

August 7, 2015 Uncategorized

job interview tipsWhen it comes to applying for a job, there are hundreds of ways to blow it before you even have a chance at a second interview. Unfortunately, it seems to be more apparent when it comes to young people – after all, they’re only human – but these mistakes cost them jobs their CVs say they are perfect for.

Here are a few mistakes that cost young job applicants a chance for a second interview:

Bad Breath: It’s normal to have dry mouth when you go in for an interview. Try chewing a piece of gum before the interview; just make sure you throw it away before you go in. No gum smacking!

Bad Life Story: You have a very small window to let people know who you are, what you’re good at and what you want to do with your life. A quick, clear history of your life and career is key and if you can’t communicate it quickly, you probably won’t get the job.

Sarcasm and Negativity: Don’t be a buzz killer – be nice – smile!

Arrogance: You might not be the rock star you think you are so remember that you still have to sell yourself! Just because you got the interview doesn’t

Knowledge: When interviewing for a job – let’s say the technology industry – you will be asked questions like what you find interesting about tech. If your answer is “Ummmm…” then you’re probably not going to make an impression. Before you arrive at the interview, write down some speaking points on a notepad and memorize them. If you freeze – use your list.

Attachments
: Don’t send email attachments, they pose malware risks and most recruiters will not accept them. Here’s a big tip – post your resume on LinkedIn and then you can send yours as a link in an email.

Dress Code: Okay, we get it, you’re young and cool but wearing a Ramones T-Shirt to a job interview isn’t cool. Men – wear a shirt and tie. Women – go conservative but stylish.

Video Interviews: Some recruiters use Skype and Google Hangouts for interviews as a more casual method – however – that doesn’t mean you can leave dishes piled in your sink or laundry scattered all over your bedroom floor. Tidy up before the interview starts.

Negotiating Salary: No! Asking salary questions on the first interview shows that you are a rookie. This is a process and the further you get through this process, the more they’ll want to hire you and the stronger your negotiation position becomes.

Photos: Does your LinkedIn profile have a photo of you and your dog or one that looks like you just crawled out of bed? Get someone to take a more professional photo of you – it just takes a few minutes and the job recruiter will think of you as a professional.

Follow Up: “We never received an email follow-up.” said the job recruiter.  Forgetting to follow up via email is another sign that you’re a rookie. A simple thank you note makes a big impression. Even a single sentence offering to answer any questions they have is fine.

Career Objectives: Padding your CV with fluffy clichés in career goal statement – DO NOT DO THIS! A simple list of your education, work experience and maybe a list of other job specific skills are enough.

Creativity: If your job application begins with “I am a chameleon,” chances are your job application is going into the trash. Creativity is fine but when it’s a little too off-the-wall, it’s a deal breaker. Companies want to trust you so make sure you behave in a way that makes you look reliable and trustworthy.

Videos: Yes, they’re trendy but since most resumes have to be emailed to other people within the organization, they prefer printable resumes sent via email in case they have to print them out for comparing you with another applicant.

No LinkedIn Profile: A LinkedIn URL in an email is a lot easier to deal with than a Word or PDF attachment. LinkedIn is really useful because it makes all candidates’ resumes look the same – and that makes it easier for a recruiter to figure out who is relevant and who isn’t.

Eating: Even if you’re meeting at Starbucks for your interview don’t buy a messy breakfast sandwich and start eating it in front of the potential employer – it’s distracting. Drink coffee or water – or nothing!

Low Energy
: This is a tough call because you want to demonstrate you’re a low-drama person but not a monosyllabic introvert – so what do you do? Be excited at the idea of working for them but not bouncing off the walls like a crazy person!

Shaving: Rocking facial hair? Groom it! Beards and mustaches or the “unshaved” look are in fashion but when you’re up close and personal with a prospective employer, they might not look so nice if they are unkempt.

Three Page CVs: When you have no experience, it’s tough – we get it – but that’s okay since most recruiters don’t have a lot of time to figure out your job history. Remember, less is more and your resume only gets a 30 second glance anyway.

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