Having dealt with candidates for quite a long time, I understand the mistakes that candidates normally commit. From my experience with few candidates who positioned themselves very well right from the beginning of the recruitment process, I suggest that a potential job seeker pays attention to the following:
- Resume: This is the first thing that a potential employer gets to read about you. So, please spend weeks on it as if it is the most important project of your life. Please take my word on it. Your CV gets at the most two minutes of the recruiter’s [consultant, business partner, corporate recruiter etc] attention. He decides your future in those two minutes. It is not anymore preferable to have an excellent resume but it is utmost essential bare minimum stuff that you need.
- Job Portals: Please remove your profiles from all the Job Portals. There are features in almost all the job portals to get your profile removed. If they do not allow you to remove your profile, you can take them head on. They will oblige. Job Portals are at best good at sending you totally unrelated job postings and they will send them in thousands.
- Social Networking Sites: Please make sure your online behaviour is decent. Please do not post some picture of yours that is not good for consumption by a potential employer. Your online activities are getting tracked. Most employers are doing a thorough online background check before calling you for an interview.
- Phone etiquette: When you attend a call from a recruiter, please project a pleasing & confident personality and do not come across as an arrogant personality.
- Keep up the commitment: If you commit to send your resume within a stipulated time, please keep it up. Please understand that the recruiter can help you get ahead in your career and it is important that he / she carries a good view on you. If you commit to attend an interview – telephonic or face to face, please keep up the schedule. After committing if you have an important work at office or at home, please call the recruiter to inform him / her about your unavailability and ensure that he / she keeps the client informed about your unavailability. Please re-schedule and keep up that schedule.
- Please be on time. Traffic is not an excuse for coming late. Please meet the recruiter at the venue and inform him or her about your arrival. And ensure that he / she does not keep you waiting. This can be done by carrying yourself well and showing your professionalism in your body language. No loose talks.
- Dress up well. Of-course most companies today do not mind to interview candidates in their shorts and Tees. But the dress communicates something. Please make sure that your dress is in line with your profile. If you are an innovator you can dress up casually but then you are running the risk of being judged as someone who does not care much. We have all read that great innovators [like Steve Jobs] do not bother to fall in line. Please read about the potential employer and their corporate culture. If you are appearing for an interview for the post of User Interface Designer with a funky software product company that believes in results and not the rules, then you can afford to go casual.
- Technical Interview: The usual question asked is: Please tell us about yourself. This is an opportunity to drive the interview the way you want it. Please make sure that you utilize this opportunity well. The interview should focus on things / areas where you are extremely strong and not on those things that needs improvement. And you should ensure this. It is an art to drive the interview the way you want it.
- HR Interview: Please do not mince words. Please be clear with your expectations. And let them know the reasons / justifications for those expectations, when asked. Trust me, you will be asked to justify whatever be your expectation – be it 10%, 20%, 30% or more.
This post does not attempt to address all the needs of a prospective job seeker in a single post. I will write a series of posts on this topic. We can delve a bit more into each of the above to understand the nuances of why do Managers recruit some candidates and what qualities they seek. Catch you soon…..