There are numerous tools and resources available to guide job seekers through the steps of a career transition. These tools are very helpful and suggest many things you should do. At the same time, some people equally benefit from learning what to avoid. If you fall into the latter group, here’s a long list of things that turn an employer off. Be sure to stay away from the following:
1. Don’t send your cover letter and resume using every format known to man.
Do not send faxes, emails, or hard copies; one presentation is enough.
2. Don’t “stalk” the employer.
Calling and emailing every day to see if you’ve been selected for an interview seems needy and won’t encourage an employer to contact you.
3. Don’t say in your cover letter that you will call the employer and then not call.
Better yet, don’t say you intend to call. Employers do not have time to take calls from all applicants.
4. Do not ignore the employer’s instructions regarding the presentation of your qualifications.
For example, if an employer has advertised for a technical writer and requested three writing samples, please submit three samples. I once received an email from a requester who said that he had so many great samples that he couldn’t decide on three, so he wasn’t submitting any.
5. Don’t call the employer and ask them to give you more information about the job before you send in your resume.
If you see an advertised position that looks appealing, go for it. You can get the details later.
6. Do not send emails and forget to provide attachments or provide attachments that are blank.
7. Don’t ask if the job is still available within a week or two of an announcement.
Whether the job is open or not is almost irrelevant. You’ll want to give yourself as many options as possible and getting your resume can be important, especially if the employer’s initial offer isn’t accepted or an additional candidate is needed.
8. Don’t expect the employer to do your homework.
It is your job to investigate the employer. Search the Internet, go to the library, and use your network to see what information is available about the company.
9. Don’t send a resume without a cover letter.
Simply put, most employers see this as lazy.
10. Don’t make it difficult for the employer to locate you.
Employers often have more than one opportunity available, so it is important that you specify the position for which you are applying.