A study with human resource professionals at corporations across North America has uncovered 6 common mistakes that can destroy your chances of winning your dream job.
1. Writing long winded cover letters
HR professionals prefer resumes Hire experts to take my GRE and cover letters that are short and to the point. The fact is, a concise letter is more difficult to write, and that reflects well on your communication skills. When you consider that many HR professionals take just 8-12 seconds to scan your cover letter, you can understand they would appreciate letters that respect their time. So forget about the mini book…
COVER LETTER TIPS: The experts suggest your cover letter should:
* Contain bullet points
* Match the needs of the position with your qualifications
* Highlight items of value that are NOT in your resume
* Engage the reader’s curiosity
* Have a sentence explaining why you want to work at their company
2. Grammar and spelling mistakes
It’s hard to believe that so many applicants make mistakes in their cover letter and resume, yet HR professionals say it happens all the time, and it’s one of the top reasons they don’t call an applicant for an interview. The experts feel anyone who submits an imperfect resume or cover letter is unlikely to pay attention to detail. As the human resource experts said again and again, “The best indicator of future behavior is current behavior.” So be detail-oriented and don’t count on your spell-check for grammar mistakes as it doesn’t always catch them!
3. Not preparing answers to potential interview questions
Hiring experts can ask some tough questions, and they look for applicants who can respond briefly and clearly. Without taking time to anticipate and prepare responses, you run the risk of sabotaging your interview with long-winded, rambling replies. It’s a good idea to rehearse your answers with someone before your interview. You should try to video tape your role-play and review it to make sure your inflection and body language are working in your favor.
4. Not asking the right questions in the interview
When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” don’t say “No, nothing I can think of.” Doug Hilton, Senior Director of HR at ADP Inc. suggests you ask questions that show you’ve researched the company and the position. He also recommends questions about the culture of the organization to determine if you are a good fit. Just make sure you don’t ask about salary and benefits before you’ve been offered the position!
5. Criticizing former employers
They say people don’t necessarily quit bad companies, they quit bad bosses. Even so, it’s important to avoid negative talk in your interview, so take some time to prepare a positive response to the question, “Why did you leave your last job?”
6. Not presenting themselves professionally at the interview
They say you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. With that in mind, let’s look at four areas that affect the way we present ourselves in an interview from the perspective of HR professionals.