Are you looking for a tech job? If so, then you’ve been through rounds of interviews at this point, and have updated and polished your resume to be sent out to recruiters, Human Resources, and hiring managers all over your industry. But there are small things you could be doing that sabotage your chances at landing the job, and you may not even realize it. In this competitive hiring market, how can you stay in the running and not be removed from consideration?
What to Avoid on Your Resume:
Your resume is the window you provide people with into your experience, achievements, skillset, and capabilities. Many people make frequent mistakes that lead to their resumes being put at the bottom of the consideration pile, or even tossed aside. Here is a bulleted list of things to avoid when putting together, polishing, and sending out your resume:
- A display of an inability to hold down a job for a significant period, aka, “job hopping”
- Poor or confusing formatting, poor grammar, and spelling mistakes
- A resume that is too long, too detailed, has too much information and appears to be overly complicated
- No context or references provided around prior experience
Keep your resume detailed, but concise. Feature key accomplishments and triple check your formatting, spelling, and grammar, keeping things easy on the eyes. Be sure to highlight strategic thinking and IT knowledge in the wording of job descriptions and prior experience, and don’t overuse relevant IT lingo. Keeping these things in mind will give you a strong resume that will lead to more interviews.
What to Avoid in Interviews:
As good as your resume may be, the interview is your chance to prove that you’re a match for the company or recruiter you’re interviewing for, as well as your chance to see if the company is a good match for what you are looking for. When beginning the interview process, be sure to keep the following mistakes at bay:
- Being unprepared for the interview: not knowing answers to questions, both related to your experience and technical questions
- Speaking negatively about previous employers, team members, and projects
- Being late to the interview
- Being dressed unprofessionally, poorly, or in a way that does not match the culture of the company
- Poor body language, such as stiffness and lack of eye contact
- No understanding of the work the business does, or no enthusiasm about what the work of the company is and why it interests you
- Not asking questions to the hiring manager or recruiter about the job
- No “thank you” follow-up after the interview
- Eating, drinking, swearing, and frequent use of the words “like” and “um” as fillers
- Showing too much interest in salary
When you’re on an interview, you should be displaying the best, most appropriate version of yourself, while appropriately gauging whether or not you believe the company you’re interviewing for is the right fit for you. Be sure to bring your resume, to give detailed answers with personalized stories that relate to the questions, display an acute technical knowledge, be positive, and don’t be afraid to ask about the dress code before the interview happens so you can best be prepared.
Regarding preparation, do your research on the company and its team before the meeting so you can be as enthusiastic as possible about the position, and come with a list of questions you have for the person interviewing you. Remember that things like salary can be negotiated in later stages of the interview process, and nothing derails an interview more than a lack of preparation, tardiness, and inappropriate dress.
The next time you’re sending out your resume for consideration or heading into an interview, keep these dealbreakers in mind to avoid and remember: the road to the perfect job can take a long time. Be patient, and represent yourself to your best ability!