How to lose a job with silly resume errors and fatal interview mistakes

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 - Resume

WHEN it comes to clueless candidates, recruiters and employers have seen it all.

From resumes addressed to the wrong company to interviews accidentally ending with trousers around ankles, there are certain situations jobseekers should take care to avoid.

Hender Consulting executive consultant Justin Hinora says this applies to jobseekers for senior-level and entry-level roles alike.

In one instance, he advertised an executive vacancy with clear instructions to send applications to him but was alarmed to find more than half (56 per cent) either did not include a cover letter or started with a generic salutation such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”.

“A ‘one-size fits all’ cover letter or application will get applicants noticed for all of the wrong reasons,” Hinora says.

“It demonstrates a lack of attention to detail and could be interpreted by the recruiter as the person simply seeking a job, not this particular job.”

media_cameraHender’s Justin Hinora says clueless candidates are in high and entry-level positions alike. Picture: Mike Burton

Hinora has also witnessed clueless candidates in the interview process.

He recalls one who claimed to be fluent in four languages including Aussie Bogan, one who listed his top strength as remembering names then proceeded to call him Jason, and one who put the interview panel to sleep then described himself as “dynamic”.

“Another time, a candidate got up from his seat to shake the hand of a panel member and as he stood up, his trousers fell down,” Hinora says.

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“To try and make light of the embarrassing situation he then asked if now was the appropriate time to discuss package.

“He wasn’t a clueless candidate though, this was really just simply a very embarrassing situation (and he actually got the job).”

media_cameraA ‘one-size fits all’ cover letter or application will get applicants noticed for all of the wrong reasons. Picture: iStock

For Hays state regional director Chris Kent, a pet hate is resumes that list unfinished qualifications.

He says it has an opposite effect to what the jobseeker intends as it implies they were unable to see their commitment through.

“Ultimately you are listing a qualification you never received,” he says.

Other common stuff-ups Kent sees include jobseekers mistakenly referring to a conversation they had with a competitor, or assuming a meeting with a recruiter is a registration rather than an interview.

“Really the assessment has commenced form the time they walk in,” he says.

“We notice how they address the receptionist, their manners, their tidiness and dress.

“If they are rude to your receptionist you might be concerned how they would be should you send them to a client for an interview.”

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