You may think you’ve done everything you can to land a new job. But did you know that before you’re even offered an interview, most employers look for “red flags” to whittle down their list of interested candidates?
Are you scaring off potential employers without even realizing it? Check out this list of no-no’s on the job hunt:
- Unprofessional e-mail address: If the e-mail address you use during your job search includes inappropriate words such as ‘sexy’, ‘cute’, ‘baby’, etc. you must create a new account for your job search. The e-mail address you list on your resume or cover letter should be some form of your first and last name or refer to your chosen industry.
- Unimpressive communication skills: Today’s social networking sites do require less formality than a typical e-mail or letter, but an employer will evaluate your communication skills based upon your profiles. If every update you send out to your network includes typos and poor structure and punctuation, it may cause the employer to reconsider extending you a job or interview offer.
- Talking badly about former employers. Although it may be tempting to update your Facebook status when you’re fired or tweet out a message about being bored at work, in the long-run, it will likely hurt your chances of finding a new job. Avoid mentioning former employers (yes, even co-workers and supervisors) in your public profiles.
- Unprofessional online image. Employers don’t want to find any photos or videos of you that are revealing, unprofessional or unflattering. Clean up your profiles before going on the job search and change your privacy settings to help avoid this situation.
- Inconsistency. Ultimately, when an employer is looking at your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts, they are hoping to find consistency throughout your work history, skills, and education. Do the dates and positions match up? Are there any inconsistencies they should be wary of?
- Job hopping. Does it appear like you’ve held a lot of jobs in a short amount of time? Did you attempt to minimize this in your paper resume sent to the recruiter or hiring manager? Many employers wonder why a candidate would hold multiple jobs within a short time span—and may start to wonder if something you’re doing is causing the frequent changes.
- Gaps in employment. While this is not an uncommon occurrence anymore thanks to the economy, an employer will still likely want to know what happened to cause the gap between jobs—and might wonder why you didn’t fill it with something sooner (for example, volunteer work or additional education).
- No clear goals or direction for your career. Showing your experience, skills, and education is important in your professional online profiles. But it’s equally as important to show that you have direction and ambition in your career. Don’t come off as someone who is looking for “any job,”—show that you are looking for a specific type of position in a field you’re passionate about.
Do you have a handle on how employers view you?