Avoid common job-search mistakes

Keep in mind the potential employers are likely to check out your online presence.

Keep in mind the potential employers are likely to check out your online presence.

According to specialized staffing firm OfficeTeam, even small mistakes on job-search materials can send hiring managers running.

“Hiring mistakes are costly, so it doesn’t take much to spook employers in today’s job market,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.

“Companies are cautious when making hiring decisions — even a minor résumé misstep or questionable online comment can take an applicant out of the running.”

Although Halloween has come and gone, we offer these tips to avoid five common job-search blunders this week, compliments of OfficeTeam:

1. A frightening attitude: Confidence is a good thing; an overblown ego is not. Rather than telling hiring managers you “know more about technology than any person on earth,” point out your expertise with specific operating systems and software.

2. Terrifying typos: Ghoulish grammar and scary spelling errors frighten off most employers. They assume if you’re careless now, you could be a nightmare on the job. Make sure you proofread your application materials carefully before submitting them, and ask others to review them as well.

3. A résumé that screams “generic!”: Using the same résumé and cover letter for every job you apply for will not make you stand out. Customize your materials for each opening by explaining how you can address a company’s specific needs. Share anecdotes that illustrate the impact you made in previous roles and give insight into your personality.

4. A spooky Web presence. What kind of trail have you left with your online activity? Make sure your digital footprint doesn’t horrify employers. Always use discretion — and appropriate privacy settings — when posting updates, comments and photos, so you’re shown in the best possible light.

5. Hauntingly personal details. The fact that you won a pumpkin pie-eating contest or have a pet llama doesn’t matter to hiring managers. Only share information relevant to the job you want.

OfficeTeam is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job-search services at officeteam.com.

OfficeTeam would approve our weekly reminder to do what others fail to do.

Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see marvin-walberg.com.FeaturesThe City

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