Looking for a new job in 2016? Here’s how to avoid the most common mistakes that could keep you from landing your dream job.
Mistakes make us human. We’re all guilty of them, but it’s time we stop making them in our résumés, job applications and interviews. Whether written or face-to-face, it’s imperative that we present the best version of ourselves.
So how do you ensure you’re being perceived the way you want? Consider these simple tips to negate the most common job-seeking mistakes.
Avoid empty words. We read them, hear them, and it’s hard to avoid repeating them. Hiring managers can spot a buzzword from a mile away. The next time you want to use terms like “results driven,” “team player,” “dedicated,” “detail oriented,” and “hard worker,” try replacing them with action verbs such as “trained,” “mentored,” “managed,” or “influenced.” Why? Because hiring managers want to know what results you achieved, and why you would be a great addition to their team.
Proofread once, twice and three times. Typos, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes happen in everyday communication, but even the smallest blunder can land your resume or cover letter in the recycling bin. I advise my clients to review their materials once, and walk away for 10 minutes. Then print them out to review the documents again on paper — the change of context makes a big difference. Lastly, try reading each page out loud, word by word. This proven editing technique will help you catch errors you may otherwise overlook.
Know what you’re saying. Filling airspace with “um,” “like,” or “you know” are credibility killers during telephone and in-person interviews. What’s worse is that these words are often said involuntarily. The cure is simple. Try videotaping yourself while prepping for interviews or conducting practice interviews with one friend while another friend observes and then provides feedback. These activities will help you catch your likes and ums immediately, so you can eliminate them from your speech.
Combat your inner introvert. Being quiet isn’t bad, but being perceived as uninformed is. My more introverted clients often complain that it’s difficult to speak eloquently on the fly. It’s not unusual for many of us to get tongue-tied when the spotlight shines. In this case, practice is the best medicine. Develop a list of potential questions an interviewer might ask and then practice answers out loud until your delivery feels natural. Take this a step further and video chat with a family member or friend to practice your answers during mock interview sessions.
The more prepared you are, the more your confidence will shine during interviews.