Ten Things That Could Make Employers Like You - or NotBy Norine Dagliano
Job seekers are bombarded with daily advice from well meaning friends, relatives, and professionals covering every topic from résumés and cover letters, to online networking, job boards, and visual CVs. As a professional résumé writer and job search coach, even I get overwhelmed – feeling like I am running as fast as I can to keep up with the latest and greatest tools and techniques, and then discovering the next week that I may have been chasing the wrong bus!
If you are feeling overwhelmed about which advice to follow, consider this: Employers hire people they like. Sure, an accomplishment-based résumé; dynamic sales-focused cover letter; solid network of contacts; strong Internet presence; well-prepared answers to interview questions, and all the rest are all extremely important, but the reality is this: No matter what latest and greatest tool and technique you have in your arsenal, if the employer does not like you, you will not get the offer.
Does this mean you are not getting offers because you are somehow “damaged” or “unlikable?” Absolutely not! But it may mean that you are getting so caught up with all the latest and greatest job search tools and techniques that you are overlooking some of the simple things that have the greatest impact for enhancing your likeability. In fact, you may even be annoying prospective employers if you are doing any of the following:
Sending a letter that begins with “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”
This is the quickest way to communicate “I don’t know who you are and I am too busy, important, indifferent, or intimidated to call and find out who I am writing to.)
Drafting a generic cover letter and just substituting the hiring manager’s name and contact information.
Publisher’s Clearing House never fooled anyone with their letter stating “and you are the only one in to receive this offer” so why would you think this technique impresses any employer?
Sending an e-mail with no subject line
Why risk downloading a virus or spyware when you can quickly delete mysterious messages from unknown senders; and/or omitting a personal greeting and overlooking spelling and grammatical errors.Impersonal and sloppy e-mail conjures up an image of an impersonal and sloppy employee.
Using a “clever” e-mail address that reveals your unique personality.
Employers are not impressed that you are the email@example.com or you are a passionate firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mispronouncing the employer’s name.
Most people are rather fond of their name and like to hear it spoken correctly; same goes for correct speling. And never assume that “Freddie” is a man or “Jamie” a woman!
Faxing your résumé without a cover sheet or explanation as to why it has suddenly appeared on the employer’s fax machine.
Employer’s are not fond of guessing games and would rather not poll the office to see if anyone was expecting a fax.
Turning in an incomplete application or one that contains the words “see résumé.”
Another quick way to let the employer know that you are too busy, important, or indifferent to complete the requested paperwork – or you simply have trouble following directions.
Greeting callers with a telephone message that a) does not verify that the caller has reached the correct number; b) attempts to entertain the caller with rap, humor, barking dogs, or singing children; c) cuts off before a message can be left or d) announces that you have “call blocking” of unfamiliar numbers.
Hiring managers are not easily entertained by the same things that entertain your friends and family and caller ID can not assess if the unknown caller is trying to reach you to schedule an interview.
Including a copy of the job posting, letters of reference, newspaper clippings that mention your, samples of your work, copies of your performance reviews, your personal photo, your salary history, supervisors names and phone numbers, or other paraphernalia when all the job announcement requested was a letter of interest and a résumé.
Do you really want to imply how desperate you are or fearful that you will never be invited to an interview by trying to tell it all incase this is your only shot?
Asking questions during the interview that let the employer know you are more interested in them fulfilling your needs than you are in fulfilling theirs.
(Employers do not choose candidates who have problems that need to be solved; they choose candidates who show the highest potential for solving their problems.)