SACRAMENTO (JobJournal) -- A recent graduate was interviewing for a position, but the work wasn't exactly what he wanted. When asked by the interviewer what he thought of the opportunity, he replied, "It wouldn't be my first choice." Not surprisingly, he didn't get a job offer and he stayed unemployed.
The young man didn't understand that the job would have been good experience for him, especially in today's challenging job market, and could have led to better opportunities.
According to business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of NewRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead (Prentice Hall Press), "Many people make silly mistakes during a job search. These actions make it easy for the hiring manager to look at someone else."
The current job market is more competitive than ever, and jobseekers need to stand out from the crowd. Here are ten job-search 'commandments' from Pachter that will impress interviewers and prevent you from making the types of mistakes that could cost you the job:
I. Thou shalt send thank-you notes. Sending notes after being interviewed is one of the ways that jobseekers differentiate themselves from other applicants. Also remember to thank the people who have helped you in your search.
II. Thou shalt dress appropriately. After interviewing a number of people at a job fair, the consultant said she wouldn't hire any of them. All of the applicants were dressed too casually - none were dressed as if they were coming to work at her company.
III. Thou shalt not chew gum. A young man got upset that the interviewer asked him to get rid of his gum. He didn't get the job.
IV. Thou shalt proofread everything carefully. Your cover letter and resume should be error-free. Why would someone hire you if you make mistakes on something you've had plenty of time to check over? Always have someone proofread your documents.
V. Thou shalt be punctual. Of course you do not want to be late for your interview, but you don't want to be too early either. If you show up more than ten minutes early, you're actually showing that you're either desperate or rude - implying that you don't respect the hiring manager enough to show up at the allotted time.
VI. Thou shalt not have a wimpy handshake. People make assumptions about others based on the quality of their handshake. Make sure your handshake is firm, but not bone-breaking!
VII. Thou shalt not be nonchalant. Be enthusiastic about the position. Even if the job is not your first choice, you want to come across as someone who is very interested in the position and the company.
VIII. Thou shalt be prepared for the questions. Anticipate the tough questions you may be asked during an interview, and know how you will answer them.
IX. Thou shalt network. People tell me that they got their jobs from people that they know, so let people know that you are looking. Build a network and look for ways to add people to it.
X. Thou shalt persevere. Don't lose hope. Even though thousands of jobs are being lost each month, there are still lots of jobs available. It is easy to give up on looking, but if you do, it's certain you won't find work. Continuing your search will increase your chances of landing a job. One career center director told me he sends out notices of job openings, yet very few people follow up with him.
Courtesy of JobJournal.com
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