Interview Tips: Top 6 Things NOT to do in Your Job Search

Although the economy has shown some recent signs of recovery, the current unemployment rate stands at 7.5 percent.

Since there are plenty of obstacles standing in your way to a new job, it’s imperative to hone your approach. See if you’re making any of these job-hunting mistakes, and fix them before it’s too late:

1. Not proofreading your résumé The quality of your résumé is what forms most potential employers’ first impression of you and opens the door to job interviews, so it’s important to make sure it’s perfect. Whether you create one on your own or have it professionally prepared is up to you; just be sure it is 100 percent error-free.

In addition to making the paper version of your résumé perfect, make sure the one you send via email delivers without any messed-up formatting or funny breaks. To create a version of your résumé that can be embedded in the body of an email, remove all current formatting by opening your résumé and saving it as a plain text (.txt) file — and remember to click on the box that says “insert line breaks.” Then, reopen it with the Notepad program. Be sure that all of the text is flush with the left-hand side of the document, and ensure that you have used only clear, easy-to-read fonts. Save that version and you’re done. Email it to yourself to review what it looks like when it arrives.

2. Becoming discouraged Searching for a job can be difficult and lonely. You may interview with dozens of companies, never to hear from them again, and you may experience many unreturned phone calls as well. In the midst of all this adversity, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and an upbeat outlook. Becoming discouraged only works against you.

If you’re unemployed, you probably have some free time on your hands. Spend a portion of it to keep your attitude and outlook healthy. Stay in shape, stay connected to friends, join networking groups and learn new skills to add to your résumé. These types of activities can keep you motivated and reduce the amount of time you have to become discouraged.

3. Telling the whole world you’re looking for work This is especially true if you’re employed. If your boss finds out that you’re thinking about leaving, he could speed up the process by giving you the boot. The last thing you want is to lose your current position before you’ve found a new one. Keep your job search to yourself.

4. Using a singular strategy If you want to find a job quickly, search for leads in every way possible. For instance, 36 million people used social media to find a job in 2011. If you’ve been ignoring that avenue, start checking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn regularly for job announcements. Checking job boards is also a good idea, but if you’re intent on working for a particular company, consider showing up in person. You may not land a job interview, but you’ll at least get your face in front of someone, which could lead to an opportunity down the road.

5. Underestimating the power of networking While some job events and career fairs may seem like a waste of time, you never know where your next key contact will come from. Embrace networking as a major piece of your job-hunting strategy. Join or become more active in professional groups. You may also want to volunteer for functions with your professional networking group. This is a great way to stay involved and get noticed by the movers and shakers in your field.

6. Forgetting to keep all points of contact professional Whether it’s the voice-mail greeting on your cellphone or the appearance of your social media pages, make sure everything looks and sounds immaculately professional. If employers interested in you, be assured that they will investigate you, and that includes visiting your online profiles. If you have anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with an employer — or your mother — seeing online, either remove it or be sure that your privacy settings on Facebook prohibit an employer from seeing it. That way, you present yourself in the best light possible.

Final thoughts Remember, many of your job-search expenses are tax-deductible: résumé preparation fees, paper supplies and postage, the cost of gas needed to drive to interviews, and more. Consult the IRS website for a complete list of details and restrictions, and hold onto your receipts. Finding work may be your top priority right now, but you’ll thank yourself for reducing your tax burden once you’re employed.

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • David Hotovy was amazing in every way possible. 

    First off, I would like to say Thank you for all the support and help landing a spot for me.  We kept in contact everyday whether we were talking about family or work.  Even after the prospected new job kept us hanging, after we thought we landed it, he was there to make sure my mind was still right.  I actually want to work with him and the company now lol.  He stayed focused on finding me a spot and telling me that I have everything companies need.  To his Boss as well, to going to bat for me. I feel I made a new friend.  I don't know if there is anymore that I can say, I would love to do more for the company so your whole team is recognized.  I deal with businesses and customers a lot and this was by far the best customer experience I've ever had!  I thought I was the best!! If there is anything I can do for David and your company let me know.
    Cheers,
    Steven King
    David Hotovy was amazing in every way possible
  • Colleen Casey went above and beyond. 

    Colleen Casey of Patrice & Associates helped me obtain a Payroll position.  She helped build my confidence and mentored me through the interview process.  In my past career searches I have worked with other career agencies and never experienced the service I received working with Colleen.  She became my mentor with building up my confidence and how to go about interviewing for the company I have accepted my current position.  I would recommend the company, but would definitely tell anyone to contact Colleen if they are looking for a new position in the future.

    Thank you,

    Dorinda Sperry

    Colleen Casey went above and beyond
  • Corina Mack was wonderful to work with. 

    She was easy to speak with during the interview process and gave helpful tips. She was diligent with her follow-ups and very responsive to my calls/emails.  I would absolutely work with Corina again!
    Thank you!
    Amanda
    Corina Mack was wonderful to work with
  • Darryl is my Coach Angel. I'm very thankful to have been reached out to for this job.  At the same time I received the call I was just listening to something and then I received the call from Darryl and things were answered.  I'm even receiving more money than my last management job ( WOW ).  Thanks again, you all changed the game for me.           Sincerely, RASHEDA KEITH Darryl is my Coach Angel
  • Corina Mack was amazing!  

    She communicated well throughout the interview process and understood my goals and expectations of the job position.  She did a great job of connecting me to what the company was looking for in the VP of Operations position.  This gave me ability to be well prepared for my interviews.   Not only would I recommend Corina, but planning on using her in my new role to continue to staff accordingly.
    Thank you,
    Pete Hodges
    Corina Mack was amazing!