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

  • I would like to start off by saying that Mike did a great job. He is very passionate about what he does, and he is very good at it. He stayed in constant contact with me, he made sure i was 100% prepared for the interview process and everything. I don’t usually work with recruiters, but this time i am extremely happy i did. Thank you to Mike, and Patrice & Associates for all the hard work you guys put forth! I will make sure i send more people your way. Thanks again Mike, it was a pleasure working with you!   Sean Williams-Mitchell USMC Veteran Thank you to Mike, and Patrice & Associates for all the hard work you guys put forth!
  • I recently worked with Sherri Balzer in conjunction with a management opportunity with IHOP. She was extremely professional throughout the entire process. In addition, she was very helpful and knowledgeable about the company and interview process. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new job opportunity to consider Sherri Balzer for all their needs.   Read Mullin I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new job opportunity to consider Sherri Balzer for all their needs. 
  • Stephanie Yee is a great part of my journey with California Fish Grill. We came across each other via LinkedIn and started a professional relationship. Not only she told me about the great opportunity with CFG, she also gave me info and reading materials about company and helped me built confidence before my interview. Lorie Santos-Law Assistant. General Manager California Fish Grill Stephanie Yee is a great part of my journey with California Fish Grill.
  • Stephanie reached out to me at a time when I was thinking about looking for a new job but was not quite sure where to begin. From our first call together she was professional and friendly. We talked a lot about my current position, previous jobs and what I was looking for in the future. From our conversations she made a new resume for me that was specific to Susiecakes. Stephanie was always on top things communicating with Susiecakes as well as myself. She was always easy to reach via phone, texts, and emails. Furthermore it really felt like Stephanie was on my side and wanted what was best for me. She listened to my concerns and negotiated on my behalf. In the end I was hired in a position that I think will be beneficial for both myself and Susiecakes. Even after I started my job a work text was accidentally sent to her and she promptly sent it to me. Still looking out for me even after I received the job. I have since referred her to an old coworker and am certain that she will find them a great job as well. I will continue to recommend to Stephanie Yee to only the best culinary professionals that I know. Sincerely, Andrew From our first call together she was professional and friendly.
  • From the initial interview, Helen was very thorough and spent time getting to know my background and experience. She was detailed in her delivery of the opportunity, and confirmed the dates and times for follow up. Her open line of communication made the process easy and enjoyable. From our initial conversation to the signed job offer, Helen shared in my excitement! I am so grateful to her, and Patrice and Associates for fitting me with this amazing opportunity. Christina Russillo I am so grateful to Helen and Patrice and Associates for fitting me with this amazing opportunity. 
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