I'm having one of those days where the glass isn't half full it's over the top! So instead of the Top 10Ways to Suck as a Candidate I'm compelled to be positive and save that list for another day.
Pay attention Letterman, you never know when your number will come up.
- Write a cover letter.
Most people don't these days and if you do you WILL stand out. Make sure that it is customized for each company you are applying to. Templates are fine, you can't change your life in every letter. Just make sure you at least name the position, company contact name if available and reason for wanting to be employed there. And please, explain your gaps in employment and reason for a change in career objectives if applicable.
- You have an objectives statement that is customized and meaningful or you leave it off.
If you keep pasting ,"Employment with an organization that allows me to reach my potential and has room for advancement" the Recruiter is just gonna' puke - so don't do it, OK?
- You don't fall for putting "References Available Upon Request" on your resume.
We Recruiters are pretty darned smart as a breed. Put it this way, we don't need references unless we're really interested in you. If we get to that point and ask you for them and you can't cough them up you're toast... So, we know they're available, OK? No need to take up room with that. It will help you keep it to 2 pages.
- You fore go submitting a novel for a well constructed, aesthetically pleasing, maximum 2 page resume.
No matter how tempting your autobiography is, we are not Literary Agents, at least at the day job. This means you too CEO, CIO, COO, CFO and all your alphabet friends. Even if we called you first and asked you to consider the position we're still going to need a resume and it can't be awhite paper on you. Save the white papers for your portfolio.
- You have a portfolio.
It could be your website, examples of your work, white papers, power points, whatever, but it exists and you present it well. Oh, and it is your work, you didn't copy and paste.
- Your social networking profiles reveal you are squeaky clean.
A Google search doesn't trigger sirens and red strobe lights. You know, like this...
- You study up for the interview.
You research the top players, you know the mission statement, youcomment on recent achievements authoritatively. In other words, you took the time to investigate through LinkedIn contacts you went after and asked for advice, you read industry reports and yougot on the good side of the Receptionist and you gleaned insider knowledge which you useduring the interview to show you don't miss a beat and you are pro-active, full of energy and ready to assume the position.
- You leave panel interviewers feeling like if they don't select you it will be their loss.
You are "the one" and it's not going to get done right without you, woo hoo!
- You do judicious customizedfollow-up with each interviewer by name and sprinkle in reasons why you are even more interested in the position after the interview.
Even if you regurgitate back what they told you they were looking for do something... don't leave empty airwaves.
- You negotiate the offer with finesse and send me a thank you email.
I'm going to start collecting a dime for my words of wisdom. Let's see where that gets me. When the market gets going good again I'll be bumping that up to a quarter so speak now if you want a good deal.
What would you add to or subtract from this list? It's a working document notthe 10 Commandments set in stoneso chisel away!