Job candidates have long been urged to put their best foot forward when applying for open positions. It is simple advice, yet many job hopefuls fail to heed it. In an Accountemps survey, one-third of CFOs said the most common mistake people make in application materials is failing to customise them for the position; 24 percent of executives said typos or poor grammar are the most frequent blunders.
The biggest slip up during the interview is not knowing enough information about the organisation. “Employers are looking for job candidates who provide the ‘wow factor’ and can immediately demonstrate the value they bring,” said Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps.
“Sending a generic resume or showing up for the interview unprepared tells the hiring manager that the applicant has little interest in being hired.”
See: CFOs and the C-Suite Need to Focus on Effective Collaboration
Typos and grammatical errors can also send message that a job seeker lacks follow-through and attention to detail. CFOs identify eight of the biggest job search mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Adding irrelevant information to application materials: Stick to only the facts employers would be interested in, which are typically your credentials, experience and accomplishments. Keep your resume and cover letter concise.
- Skipping proofreading: Even one or two resume typos can eliminate a candidate from consideration. Review your materials thoroughly, and ask a confidant to read them, too.
- Failing to prepare: Research the company by exploring its website and searching for recent news articles. Incorporate what you learn into your cover letter and interview responses by making the connection between what the company needs and what you offer.
- Lying: Be honest. Fabricating or overstating your experience is never acceptable.
- Having an unflattering online presence: Conduct an online audit of your social media pages and remove any posts that could be perceived as unprofessional or inappropriate.
- Being caught off-guard during salary discussions: Consult industry resources such as the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide to learn about compensation ranges for jobs in your field. Understanding market trends will help you know what your skills and experience are worth.
- Relying solely on technology: Look for other ways to find job openings. Attend industry events, join professional associations and ask your current contacts for introductions to new ones.
- Going about your job search alone: Partner with a staffing firm and let them open doors for you. Be open to different types of positions, including temporary work.
Also read: Vision 2020: Impact of Technology on the Future of Finance
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