No matter how impressive the CV, if a candidate comes off as unprofessional, chances are the recruiter/employer will simply move on to the next candidate with no hesitation. There are no second chances.
Take caution with how you present yourself on paper, over the phone and in person.
Things that can instantly turn employers off include:
1. Full voice mail box.
If you’re going to apply for a job, make sure you have your voicemail ready in case the employer calls. If the employer comes to a full voice mail box, it’s informing them that you’re not that serious about the job.
2. Unprofessional voice mail greeting.
Your voice mail greeting is the first impression of you. Would you walk into a job interview and say, “Hey, what’s up?” If not, make sure your greeting demonstrates your professionalism.
3. Answering your phone in a gruff and unprofessional manner.
Along the same lines as the voice mail greeting, after you’ve applied for a job, be ready for the recruiter/employer to call at any moment. I called a Senior Vice President candidate, and thinking I was a telemarketing firm, he sternly asked me “What do you want?” He lightened up after he found out who I was, but I couldn’t help thinking how bad an impression he would make if I had been an employer.
4. Typos in the resume.
Misspelling in the email, cover letter, or resume is a no-no. Employers expect professional communication, so double check all your written work before sending it out. How you present yourself in person, on the phone, or on paper all leaves an impression. If you show carelessness, what’s to say you’ll be any different on the job? Besides, you cant say “Pay Attention to Detail” as a skill, and have your CV full of spelling mistakes can you?
5. Not reading the job description.
Recruiters can see which applicants are serious and which ones simply apply to dozens of jobs without much thought. Make sure you have read the job posting‘s stated requirements and showcase them in the cover letter and perhaps the resume too if necessary. You also want to follow any specific instructions included in the job posting. The salary advertised, the format your CV should be submitted in, payslip copies etc. Those who fail to demonstrate they have the qualifications for the job and those who don’t follow instructions may automatically be rejected by the employer & recruiter.
6. Resumes overfilled with buzzwords.
Buzzwords can include self-described terms that just about anyone can say like “dynamic” or “innovative.” You’re better off demonstrating by example how you have specific characteristics because when there is no proof, it’s just a blank statement.
7. Poor listening and communication skills.
When you have an interview, your goal is to build rapport and get the interviewer to like you. Demonstrating that you were not paying full attention or not responding appropriately will cause instant rejection. So show enthusiasm and ask insightful questions.
Now that you’re clear on what things make employers tick, take caution to present your best professional front through all means of communication.