Successful job search requires that you figure out what you want to do, create a winning resume, practice interview questions, and so on. But many employers tell me that far too many job seekers fail because they do not take care of the details.
Employers have not hired otherwise qualified candidates because of one of the following errors:
No contact information
If an employer cannot get a hold of you, they will not wait for you. They will instead make an offer to the next-best qualified candidate.
Make sure that your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn URL are included
at the top of your resume,
at the bottom of your cover letter,
in your email signature block, and
on your business cards.
When you call and leave a voice message, always leave your name and phone number at the beginning of a short message. Yes, chances are high that they have caller ID; however, you must make contacting you as easy as possible for the employer. Do not make them work.
Unprofessional email address
You may have a separate email address that you use for friends and families and to log in to online accounts, but for job seeking, you need a professional address – your name (FirstnameLastname@, or Firstname.Lastname@). If you have a common name, you may need to include a number or a symbol; do not use your age or date of birth.
From a branding perspective, the repetition of your name across all points of contact (email address, resume, cover letter, LinkedIn URL) identifies you with your personal brand. Free email accounts are easily available through Google Gmail, Yahoo, and others.
Answering your phone unprofessionally
Always. Even if you think you recognize the number on your caller ID. And please, re-record your voice message greeting:
“Hi, this is (name). I am not able to take your call right away, but please leave your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.”
Having an obnoxious call-waiting song
An employer once called an applicant to make an offer, but the call-waiting song was so vulgar, that she hung up without leaving a message, and called someone else instead.
My own opinion is that any call-waiting song is obnoxious. Take it off. If you insist on having a call-waiting song, make sure it is as non-offensive as possible (but let me know if you find a song that does not offend at least one person).
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.