Scarred for Life – 5 Ways to Ruin Your Job Search

Posted December 14, 2011 by

When you’re up to your armpits in alligators, it’s hard to remember to drain the swamp.” – Ronald Reagan

There is nothing more uncomfortable than having an interview implode (whatever side of the table you are on).

Most of these experiences for me have been as the interviewer, but I would be lying if I said I never had a rough interview on the interviewee side of the table.

Sometimes it is a personality thing (and it’s better to find out during the interview). Sometimes you didn’t do your homework on the company or the job (basically, your fault).

But there are many other ways you can ruin your job search.

I’m sure I won’t cover all of them here, because someone is always dreaming up some new way to screw thing up. Share your job search horror stories (it’s good for the soul to purge every so often).

  • Your Profile: This is a very broad topic. It includes things posted on the Internet that, if seen, will ruin any chance you have (like some college party pictures or worse). References that you’ve either not checked with or give you a bad reference. Things on your resume that are not true (like our education or where you’ve worked). And then, there is always that crazy email address that was great when you were 17 years old but should not be used for your job search. The top of the list, of course, is if you’ve been arrested (and convicted). Lots depends on the crime, but any criminal record will make your life difficult. ==>>Your online reputation can hurt your job search
  • Resumes: There are too many things you can do wrong on your resume to list here (sad to say). But some of the big mistakes include things like misspelled words and grammatical errors. There is also the “too hard to believe” resumes where people claim to have saved the world or some other unlikely event. How about colored paper (the answer is no). And, while not resume specific, not including a cover letter is also a big mistake. ==>> Nine Worst Résumé Mistakes
  • Interviews: Like resumes, there are so many ways you can ruin an interview. Many are obvious (not to everyone unfortunately) and some are not. My personal favorite is someone falling asleep during the interview. While I know I’m not the most exiting person in the world, was more than a little surprised when a candidate was having trouble staying awake during the interview. Showing up late (not a great idea), forgetting the name of the interviewer, not knowing what job you are interviewing for, not knowing what the company does, not having a copy of your resume. And the list goes on and on. ==>>Top 50 Ways to Ruin Your Job Interview
  • Dress for Success: There is so much truth to “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. Unfortunately, in a job interview, the eyes of the interviewer are the most important. So much of this is, you would think, common sense. But if that was the case, why do so many people get it wrong? Some are so bad, I’m convinced that the candidate either doesn’t own a mirror or has circus mirror. So what are some examples? A low cut blouse that shows too much, a too short skirt that shows too much or clothes that are not appropriate (like wearing shorts to an interview). ==>> How Not to Dress for an Interview
  • Watch What you Say: There are lots of things that you should not discuss during your interview and there are even more things you should not lead with. One good example of how not to start an interview is “I need to make $xxx” or “I need to be CEO”. Another thing to avoid is criticizing your current (or former) boss, job, company, etc. There are more effective ways to explain why you are looking for a new job. ==>>What Not to Say in a Job Interview

Good luck in your search.

Author: CareerAlley

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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