Job-hunting horrors: How to scare off prospective employers

Pin It

By Robert Half Technology

To secure a job interview, you must present yourself flawlessly. Just one slip-up could scare off a potential employer. Use the following advice to avoid frightening hiring managers this Halloween season:

Ghoulish grammar
If you were a hiring manager, would you interview a person who claimed to be “derail-oriented,” as one real-life applicant we came across did? Rushing through the editing and proofreading process (or skipping it altogether) is a recipe for disaster. Regardless of how impressive your credentials, you won’t win over potential employers if you submit a mistake-ridden résumé and cover letter.

If you don’t show attention to detail during the hiring process, employers assume you’ll be equally sloppy on the job. Avoid errors by proofreading your résumé aloud, reading it line by line. Asking a trusted friend or family member to double-check your work can be helpful too.

An eerie ego
If you brag that you’re “the best programmer ever,” you’ll likely rub hiring managers the wrong way. Instead of relying on brazen self-promotion, let your résumé, cover letter and any previous work samples speak for you. Displaying a solid history of advancement and achievement is the best way to stand out from the competition.

Whenever possible, use measurable results to link your contributions to the positive effect they had on a former company’s bottom line. Consider including information related to revenue generated, time saved and number of projects completed. For example, “Reduced resolution time for helpdesk inquiries by 25 percent over a three-month period” is a concrete statement. “I’m a money-making wizard” — as one job seeker we heard from asserted — is not.

Web of horrors
Your online reputation matters. Post with prudence and treat your digital footprint with the same care you give your résumé and cover letter. Beware of uploading less-than-professional images or ranting about the horrors of your job hunt.

You may use sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to promote yourself and showcase your industry knowledge and expertise. If so, be thoughtful when posting, and make sure your comments reflect positively on you as a professional. Your online activities could come back to haunt you if privacy settings and sound judgment are not used.

This Halloween season, remember that the trick to securing a job interview — and eventually an employment offer — is to give hiring managers a treat by submitting clean, well-crafted application materials and promoting yourself with care online and in person.

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology on Twitter at www.twitter.com/roberthalftech. 

13 Comments
  1. Thank you for the great pointers in this article! It’s unfortunate that so many job seekers scare off prospective employers with things that they probably don’t even realize they are doing. Something that is so important and often overlooked: a job seeker’s online brand. Your digital footprint is highly important to prospective employers and anything less-than-professional needs to be removed.

  2. Thank you for the great pointers in this article! It’s unfortunate that so many job seekers scare off prospective employers with things that they probably don’t even realize they are doing. Something that is so important and often overlooked: a job seeker’s online brand. Your digital footprint is highly important to prospective employers and anything less-than-professional needs to be removed.

  3. Great blog. I just wanted to leave a quick comment to say thank you for sharing the material with the public. I found reading it to be both fun and informative. I will definitely bookmark this and tell my friends about it.

  4. I agree with you. This post is truly inspiring. I like your post and everything you share with us is current and very informative, I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job …

  5. Great blog. I just wanted to leave a quick comment to say thank you for sharing the material with the public. I found reading it to be both fun and informative. I will definitely bookmark this and tell my friends about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>