Past Issues

January 12, 2009

Why are you failing to get a new job?

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Why are you failing to get a new job?

By The New Vision Online

WHILE searching for a job, you need to do a lot of things correctly and avoid missteps that can frustrate your efforts despite your strong qualifications and experience. Experts give these tips on what to avoid doing.

An unprofessional e-mail address. You and your friends might think is funny or a clever address. However, a recruiting manager might not. That person might lack your sense of humor and his or her reaction might erase your chances. It is better to use your name plus, if necessary, a numerical suffix.

Poor phone etiquette. The same logic applies to your voicemail greeting. All you need to say is that you are unavailable, not that you are out clubbing or playing Ludo. Why give a potential hiring manager a reason to pass you by? Just don't.

Misspellings in your cover letter. While Microsoft Word has a spell-checker, it does not have a "what you meant to write-checker." If you wrote "they're chances" or "there chances" when you meant "their chances," Word will not flag your phrase, at least it didn't for me just when I was writing this article.

Failing to write a post-interview thank you letter. Your note shows your appreciation of the opportunity to interview and gives you an additional chance to reinforce your strong points. The failure to write a note deprives you of that chance and may mark you as unprofessional.

Inappropriate dressing. If you are sitting an interview for a bank, dress like a banker. Forget the T-shirts, shorts and sandals. If you are not sure, dress more conservatively.

Ignoring accomplishments. Do not just list responsibilities on your resume. Emphasize your accomplishments as much as you can and quantify them. For example, do not just write, "Wrote programs in Lusamia." Instead, write "Developed or initiated a system that reduced operation costs or increased sales by x%."

Late coming. If you are late for an interview, call the interviewer. This enables the interviewers to continue with other work, while waiting for you. The worst alternative is to simply show up late. It smacks of rudeness and unprofessionalism and may hurt your chances.

Bad-mouthing. Much as you might be tempted, and even if the interviewer asks you, don't talk ill of your former company, co-workers or supervisor. Bad-mouthing may mark you as a troublemaker to your prospective employer.

Failure to explore contacts. If you are looking for a job, don't do it alone. Think of other people who can help like former co-workers, vendors and alumni from high school or college. If you fail to do so, you make your search more difficult and frustrating.

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