If you asked most people what an executive recruiter's favorite word is – and by this I mean the word they repeat most frequently each and every day – the majority would assume that "resume," "interview," "compensation," or "job" would all be in the running, but they would be wrong. Hands down, without question, the word that comes out of my mouth or runs through my head countless times each day, more than any other, is... "why." A recruiter's job, as I see it, is to ascertain whether a candidate would be a good fit for a current opening, and the only way to do this is to get answers to the "whys" that inherently come through in every person’s resume. The key to a successful job search is to look at your resume, experience, and education, and ask yourself what "whys" your background evokes. Then, to the best of your ability, provide the answers directly on your resume. Given the number of resumes recruiters receive per job posting, if a resume has too many "whys," it's automatically moved to a "Review Later" pile - and who knows when that will occur? Here's an example of a common "why" I see unanswered on many resumes: Multiple jobs over a few years span. Naturally, this evokes a "Why?" Clients are very reluctant to hire job hoppers. So, if your resume shows any short tenures and there are valid reasons for each departure, next to each position indicate in a few words why you left. For example, bankruptcy, relocation, recruited by former boss, and so on. If the "whys" are answered one by one, recruiters keep reading. There aren't any negative connotations as they review the rest of the resume, because the job history makes sense. One of the best tips I can give a job seeker is to review his or her resume and try, objectively and with a critical eye, to ask what "whys" may be raised by a recruiter or potential employer. Then, make sure the questions are answered. If you do this, I can’t guarantee that you will get the coveted job offer every time you apply, but I can guarantee that this simple step will increase the number of responses and interviews that you receive. There are so many variables that can’t be controlled in a job search, but the "whys" of the resume world can - so why not answer them? Author: Elisa Sheftic Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Getting through to the job interview stage in the hiring process means the employer believes you have the right experience and skills for the job on paper. But now comes the real deal-breaker: whether you can communicate those skills effectively in person and come off as the right fit for the company's workplace culture.
There are typical red flags employers watch for in job interviews. Any one red flag can reduce your chances of getting a job offer, so here's what you need to avoid in your next job interview...
1. Poor Communication
This includes everything from talking too little, talking too much, or simply having poor nonverbal behavior like a lack of eye contact or making the situation uncomfortable with poor body language. When it comes to questions and answers, a job candidate who can't provide effective responses to questions that are necessary to assess their experience and skills is always a problem.
Be prepared to address every point you have on your resume. And when an employer presents a follow-up question like "Tell me more about..." they are trying to dig deeper either because they're curious, or you provided an insufficient response.
An inability to communicate well in a job interview will leave the employer questioning whether you do have the experience and skills you say you have on paper.
2. Question Of Permanency
When an employer puts out a job offer, it's going to be to someone they believe is committed to the job—not to someone who's simply looking to fill in an employment gap until a more fitting job comes along. Any reasonable job seeker wouldn't present such a front, but sometimes casual conversation can lead you to say things that are better off unsaid.
Avoid talking about challenges in your job search or how you were looking for a job in fashion marketing, but somehow you're now applying for this job in healthcare marketing. It brings to question if you're really interested in the job the employer has to offer.
Also, avoid talking about any long-distance relationships and try not to mention that your spouse and kids remain in another state. The employer will question if your personal situation may impact your job loyalty down the road if a relocation package is not going to be a part of the offer. And if they ask where you want to be in three years, answer with a position that corresponds with their growth opportunities.
3. Bad Talk
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate why you're a great candidate for the job and effectively convey what you have to offer. It's not about letting your frustrations out about a boss you don't like or people you don't like working with. Any bad-mouthing simply sends a negative message about your character. It'll also make the employer question if you can manage workplace relationships professionally.
Often, bad-mouthing occurs when employers ask questions like, "Why are you leaving your current job?" Stay focused on answering with a positive response that relates back to the goal of improving yourself and utilizing what you're capable of offering.
4. Not Dressing The Part
Yes, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. But in a job interview, this is what happens. If you're not dressed the part to look like you suit the job, it's going to be hard for the employer to see that, too.
It might also make the employer think that if you can't even manage to present a well-groomed appearance for a job interview that you'll be a slacker when on the job—and that's not going to work, especially if this is a position where you may have interface with customers or business partners that require a professional appearance.
5. It's All About The Money
Salary is a factor in determining whether the job offer is ultimately right for you, but bringing it up too early in the interview process comes off as though you're only in it for the money. And when you're the one to bring it up, it puts you at a disadvantage. You create a situation where you need to reveal your desired salary before the employer offers insight to what they're considering, which may end up being much lower or much higher from what the employer has budgeted.
The point is to first make the most impressive mark you can. If you're the one they want, they'll bring up the topic of salary and you'll have an idea of what they're offering, which you can then further negotiate so it meets your expectations.
Employers take into account many factors during the job interview. It's not just about the experience and skills you put on paper. Now, you can avoid all the typical red flags to keep yourself in the running.
Need help preparing for your next job interview?
Check out our FREE resources page!
Or, join our career growth club today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!
If you want FREE career advice in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily Dose!
Struggling to find the right job?
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
- 5 Things You Should Never Say In A Job Interview - Work It Daily ›
- 3 Biggest Red Flags To Watch Out For In A Hybrid Workplace - Work ... ›
- Cover Letter Mistakes: 4 Red Flags Employers Watch For - Work It ... ›
- 5 Things Every Employer Wants To Hear In An Interview - Work It ... ›
- 3 Things Employers Are Really Looking For In A Job Candidate ... ›
- What To Do If You've Lied On Your Resume - Work It Daily | Where ... ›
For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
- 12 Fascinating Quotes About Work-Life Balance - Work It Daily ›
- Dread Going To Work? How To Deal With The Feeling - Work It Daily ›
- 5 Tips For Talking To Your Boss About Stress - Work It Daily ›
- Why You Should Say "No" To An Overworking Workplace Culture ... ›
- 3 Ways To Avoid Being Overworked - Work It Daily ›