2018 Edition – Don’t Do It! | Articles & Tips | WNYJobs.com | Buffalo

Articles and Advice

 2018 Edition – Don’t Do It!

By Joe Stein

The article titled “Don’t Do It” has become sort of an annual tradition in these pages of WNYJOBS. If you are interested in these previous editions, you can go online at www.wnyjobs.com to view past versions.
You may find the examples below to be so outrageous (and even bizarre), that you find them hard to believe. Let me assure you that the events below have all actually happened to either myself or were recently communicated to me by a colleague.
The idea behind sharing these Job Seeker mistakes is to highlight that there is much more to running a good search than just writing a good resume. You can have the best resume around and interview well, but make so many other errors (some small, but others may be large) that you will not be considered for the position. The good news is that everything listed can be resolved by using some good common sense.
- Check Your Documents – Please make sure your documents correspond to the position you are applying to. For example, don’t have a Cover Letter that opens with a reference (different title or wrong company name) to a different position than the one you are seeking.
- Avoid Pet Noise – If you are at home (either because of an off-hours phone screen, or you are unemployed), then a dog barking may happen. You should, however, try to make every effort to avoid this distraction from occurring. For example, don’t schedule a phone screen for when you just get home and your dogs are super excited and barking. A Hiring Manager has a busy schedule and waiting for your dogs to calm down is not a good use of his/her time.
- Be Near the Phone For Your Appointment – If you have a phone interview scheduled for a specific set time, then please be near your phone ready to answer. The phone should not go to voice mail, nor should you answer “out of breath” since you were not near to answer. For example, don’t be on a different floor of your home, away from your phone, at the time of your phone interview.
- Don’t Apply If Not Qualified – I think I may write this one in every edition of “Don’t Do It”. If the position that you are applying for requires some very specific skills and/or experience and you have none of it, then you are only wasting the time of the Hiring Manager (and yourself).
- Be Friendly When Answering the Phone – I am like most people and find phone telemarketing to usually be annoying. When you are looking for employment (and giving out your phone number when applying), you can’t answer the phone rudely thinking it may be someone selling something. It just gets worse when you suddenly realize it is for a job and you very quickly try to turn on the charm to make up for your early rudeness.
- Explain If You Are Not From the Area – It is not uncommon to apply for positions outside your area, but if you do, then you must explain your intentions in your Cover Letter. What I am commonly seeing now is applicants not bothering with a Cover Letter (huge mistake!) and then leaving to guesswork as to why the person who is not from the area is applying.
- Have an Awareness of What You Applied To – This is a major issue if you are just applying for anything and everything. When you have this unfocused approach, it is often difficult to keep tracking of your applications. You should never be in the position of not knowing what position the Recruiter or Hiring Manager is talking about when they call you.
- Clearly Label Your Documents – You should want the Hiring Manager to be able to easily recognize your Cover Letter and Resume, so why provide a generic name or (even worse) some type of initials or acronym. Label your documents clearly with your full name and the title of the position you are applying for.
Of course, we all know mistakes happen, however, most are preventable. It is important to know what to look for and to have the attention to detail to make sure you don’t do them. If you can avoid making errors like those listed above, you will give yourself a competitive advantage against those who are not as savvy.