We all know the importance of making a good impression when submitting a resume, writing a cover letter, or during a job interview. We read volumes of books and articles on the subject of making a good impression; but are there techniques that will turn off a hiring manager? You bet!
1. Writing over confident cover letters.
An overzealous candidate wants to stand out, but over confidence can be a huge turn off. “Don’t waste your time with pointless interviews. I’m the only employee you will ever need.” You definitely want to sell yourself in your cover letter, but there are limitations. Sometimes your “clever” sentence can actually be a huge turn off. Hiring managers don’t know your work and your overconfidence can backfire. Instead, impress them with specific examples. You should state facts and figures about your performance, not offer empty “self-proclaiming” statements.
2. Stalking Human Resources.
You interviewed for the position and now you want to know the status of the position immediately. You call Human Resources two or three times a day until you reach the hiring manager. Statistics show that most candidates never follow up on a resume, but stalking is definitely not the way to go. The last words you want the hiring manager to hear are “That candidate is on the line for you – again.” You also don’t want them deleting your fifth voicemail of the day. Show interest in the position, but steer clear of stalking.
3. Using big words to impress.
Using a dictionary is one thing, over doing the big words takes it to an entirely different plateau. Most people go out of their way to impress hiring managers with extensive vocabulary. What good is it if the hiring manager has to look up the definition of every other word in your cover letter or resume? Unless the position truly warrants big words because of industry specific terms, keep it simple.
4. Name dropping has its place.
Candidates sometimes try to make an impression during the interview with the number of important people they know. Use caution when name dropping during an interview. If you give the interviewer the impression that you have a one on one relationship with the company president, it may come across as either a veiled threat or that you will soon be after the hiring manager’s job. Be careful, name dropping may not work in your favor.
5. Making the hiring manager adjust to your schedule.
When a hiring manager is arranging the interview process, they normally schedule around their own available times. Do not make them work around your schedule. With seven job seekers for every vacant position, there are too many applicants for a potential employer to jump through hoops to accommodate your other “commitments”. Too often interviewees act like the hiring manager should be honored to be requesting an interview. Remember, you are the one that wants the job.
6. Is the caller the hiring manager or merely an interview scheduler?
Never assume that an assistant is calling to set up the interview, thereby, giving you a license to be rude. Whether it’s the hiring manager or interview scheduler, they should be treated exactly the same. Sighing heavily or acting like you are being inconvenience is definitely a turn off.
7. Do you assume that everyone likes the same music that you do?
You may like the latest music, but the hiring manager may not. If you are going to give out your cell phone number as a contact phone number, be sure that your greeting is professional. Hiring managers do not want to listen to 30-60 seconds of your favorite song or other “amusing” voicemail greetings. They may just hang up without leaving a message.