The job hunt is about as tough as it gets. When you’re looking, and I mean really looking for that next opportunity, you have maybe just one chance to woo the hiring manager before your candidacy gets tossed into the digital Recycle Bin.
That means you need to up your game and make sure that you’re gonna give the hiring manager as many reasons to want to hire you, as well as remove all the reasons why they wouldn’t. We’re in a game where a simple typo could cost you a great new job. The misplacement of a single word could leave an unintended negative impression. And we want to help you get that job, so here’s a little something to address those mistakes:
Don’t be an idiot. Via Pinterest
Don’t use words like “usually”
If you’ve ever written “I’m usually very organized” or “I can usually juggle” on your resume or Q&A (because we don’t do cover letters here at Planted), stop! The hiring manager doesn’t know who you are, and the only impression they have of you comes from that first touchpoint, so every word carries weight.
If you use a word like “usually”, the hiring manager will be left thinking about the times you weren’t organized, or couldn’t juggle. Think about it --
“I’m on time! Usually.”
“I’m a great candidate! Usually.”
Doesn’t give off a good first impression.
I usually don’t burn houses down.Via Know Your Meme
Don’t list your most recent experience at the bottom of your resume
Put your most recent experience at the top of the page, always. That’s the first place the hiring manager’s eyes will go, and they’ll expect to see your current employer at the top of the page. Then don’t forget to order the rest of your experience in descending order (so most recent at the top).
You’re selling yourself short if you put the lifeguard job you had 4 years ago while in college at the top of the page. The hiring manager might wonder how your experience is applicable. Then they’ll notice the date and wonder why there’s a 4-year gap in your resume. Then they may realize that your most recent experience is at the bottom of the page -- and by then they’ll have already moved on. We don’t want that.
Don’t break anyone’s brain.Via Giphy
Don’t say too much, or too little, on your resume
Hiring managers want to know how you kicked ass in your past experience. They don’t care that you’ve, “Made photocopies when needed”. Cramming too many bullet points on your resume makes it harder for them to know what exactly you want them to focus on. The purpose of your resume is to intrigue potential employers so that they’ll want to get to know you better. Essentially, it’s your “foot in the door” to an interview!
But on the flip side, it’s just as dangerous to say too little on your resume, because then it just looks like you haven’t tried: in your job, or in putting together your resume. Ideally, you want to demonstrate how you’re qualified for the new position that you want.
We like seeing strong action verbs (ex. Collaborated = helped, composed = put together), and we love seeing resumes that are results-oriented: What did you accomplish in each role you took on, and what was the outcome of your work? Was there an amount of revenue you generated? Did you acquire a certain number of users? How many blog posts did you write?
Be humble//Sit down
You never know who has a say in the hiring process, at the end of the day. Be nice to the receptionist and the people in the hallway. Make small talk. Smile. Don’t come across as entitled -- even if you feel like you deserve that job, nothing turns people off more. Err on the side of cheerfulness and enthusiasm. Make it clear how enthusiastic you are at the idea of becoming a part of their team.
We know that the job hunt sucks, but assuming that you're the "perfect fit" for the job -- and getting angry if you don’t get it -- doesn’t help your chances. Life lesson: Angry + rude people don’t get jobs.
They just don’t. Via Giphy
Don’t wear a suit to your interview
You’re GOING TO BE OVERDRESSED if you show up to an interview with a suit, and it’ll make everyone uncomfortable. Trust us, being the only person in a building wearing a suit is not a great feeling. If you’re nervous about being underdressed, do a little research on the company. See if there’s a team section of the website and see what they’re wearing.
If you still have no idea, err on the side of smart casual or business casual – it’s professional enough to look like you can get the job done, with enough flair to look like you can hang in a startup environment (think: first date).
Need to figure out that startup wardrobe? Check out Creating a Startup Wardrobe When You're New to the Job World .
Put your best foot forward. Via Giphy
TL;DR: The biggest mistake you can make is carelessness. The job hunt isn’t easy, so make it easier on yourself and let Planted help you! We’ve got lots more articles to help you with your search, plus we can be your “in” with lots of great companies.