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 Israel was a pleasure to work with and was instrumental in helping me find an excellent career opportunity .

    David was extremely professional and took the time to really listen to where I was in my career and what I was looking for. As a result of the work he did to connect me with the right opportunity, I was able to obtain a great starting salary and great benefits as well. I would highly recommend David’s services to both job seekers and employers. Josh Axmacher David Israel was a pleasure to work with!
  • Tim was nothing but helpful from the start!

    I was originally contacted by Tim as a reference for someone who used to work for me. He must have recognized that I myself was a good fit, because within a few minutes the conversation turned to me applying for the job.  He was always pushing for me. He was there to help with everything, every step of the way, and was in constant communication. He played a massive role in me landing an amazing job with an even better company. I can't stress enough how awesome this guy was. Tim will coach you through the entire process and be your biggest advocate. He has a lifetime of experience and knows exactly what companies are looking for. A+, 10/10, two thumbs up, 5-stars. Thanks for everything Tim! Brock Kinley Tim was nothing but helpful from the start
  • Tim was very patient and thorough when going through the process of trying to find employment for me and my skills. I appreciate the time and effort he put in for me and I would recommend Tim Walker & Patrice and Associates to anyone looking for great opportunities. Carolyn Floyd Tim was very patient & thorough!
  • Chris was amazing through the entire application and interview processes, 10 out of 10.

    He took his time to get to know me and really ensure that I was what he was looking for. He ensured that I had information about the hiring company to ensure it was something I felt I wanted to pursue. Chris also gave me some helpful tips and tricks in his emails about the interview process, you could tell that he was doing everything on his end to help you, it all just came down to how well you executed on your end. I would certainly recommend anyone looking for opportunities to reach out to Chris, the first possibility didn’t work out that we were attempting but he came back and nailed it with the second opportunity.
    Cody Smith
    Chris was amazing through the entire application and interview processes, 10 out of 10.
  • It was an amazing opportunity to work with David Hotovyy!

    David set me up with a great opportunity in my field as a restaurant General Manager. He really takes the time to get to know who you are and what you're about, what's important to you in your career and home life.   I would definitely recommend working with David,  and have actually passed on his contract info to several others already!
    Thank you David Hotovy & Patrice and Associates for helping me find something that is just right for me!
    Rebecca Jackson
    It was an amazing opportunity to work with David Hotovy!