Job hunters are always offered advice by one person or another about the job hunt or interview process. While those dispensing their wisdom mean well, it’s important to remember that not all advice is sage advice. As you sift through their career advice, these are some of the job tips you should cast aside.
Tip 1: Apply for any job that fits your skills.
While this advice might increase your chances of looking like a great fit on paper, it doesn’t mean if a skill fits that it will be a good overall fit for you or an employer. If a job doesn’t truly appeal to you, it will likely come across in an interview through your answers, tone, facial expressions and body language. Employers want to know the job they are interviewing you for is one you sincerely want, and conversely, as a candidate you also need to be excited about the job you’re applying for. Anything less is more than likely destined for disappointment.
Tip 2: Target the top paying employers only.
Top paying employers are likely to get more resumes than most companies, making it more difficult for candidates to get a call for an interview, much less a job offer. Top payers also know exactly why they are so attractive to potential employees, so expect to answer the question “Why do you want to work for us?”. Working for a top paying employer is no guarantee you will like your job, your environment or your employer.
When looking for a job, consider there are often many smaller employers that offer a great place to work even if they don’t meet the “top paying employer” criteria. Try to find out what attributes an employer might be able to offer you, don’t just focus on pay. Work environment, work-life balance, time-off, benefits, location, work hours and many other things may rank higher on your priorities list, making them a better choice for your specific needs.
Tip 3: Employers don’t care about non-relevant job history.
An employee’s previous work history may not seem relevant on the surface, but many skills can be highly transferable, especially soft skills like negotiation, communication, conflict resolution, and organization. What may not be relevant now can turn out to be highly applicable later as job requirements change and the need for these skills arise. Employers should carefully review a candidate’s resume for the specific types of skills and attributes they are capable of delivering relative to long-term goals, especially softer skills that may not seem obvious on the surface.
Tip 4: Tell employers exactly what they want to hear, don’t make waves.
Many candidates may be tempted to simply tell employers what they think they want to hear. The trouble is, you can’t know for sure what they are thinking, nor can you know with certainty what they want to hear. Sometimes what you may think is safe to say or playing into interviewer expectations, might just come across as indecisive and too passive. Listen carefully and be clear, decisive and confident with your responses. Many employers want employees they can count on to demonstrate a high degree of independence and capable of offering differing views for better decisions. Making waves doesn’t mean causing problems, it means standing out in ways that help companies realize new opportunities and advance company-wide plans.
Tip 5: Interviewers have made up their mind about you in the first few minutes.
This mindset can often set employees and employers up for unnecessary disappointment. If after a few minutes into an interview, you start thinking “it doesn’t matter”, you are likely to reflect defeat with every gesture and response. That feeling of defeat is likely going to be noticed by an employer and become a self-fulfilling prophesy, making it impossible for an employer to have confidence in hiring you. As an employer, it’s important to recognize that candidates are nervous at the beginning of their job hunt and interview. Try to lessen the stress to allow the candidate the best environment to put their best foot forward. By doing so, it increases the chances of finding a good fit on both sides.