How To Lose A Job Before You Have One

After the comedic week we’ve had with our colorful job seekers, we decided to do a spoof of Donald Petrie’s How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Not filling out the job application all the way. It’s a simple thing but we see it happen in our office everyday. Like most employment agencies, we view our job applications as legal documents; they’re used to record candidate information and mark the first step in the hiring process. We hand out the application and, too often, the job seekers opt to leave several sections blank, claiming, “It’s all in my resume.” This behavior is a red flag for us, and quite frankly, comes off as lazy and arrogant.



Someone else inquires about the position for you. We’re not kidding – we had two instances last week when this happened. Whether it’s your mom, son, or friend, you should never have someone else do your dirty work for you.

Submitting a crappy resume. Whether you sent us a half-written paragraph or a 3-page novel that catalogues every job you’ve ever had, relatable or not, it tells us you’re out of touch with the reality of today’s employment world. Between grammar errors and poor spacing, most resumes we review are unprofessional at first glance. Putting superficial issues aside, the most frustrating commonality our resumes have is that they rarely focus on one field and aren’t customized to the job.

Failing to look the part. I understand that in some cultures, people don’t wear suits to work, and many industries have embraced a creative and casual work culture, especially growing IT comapnies, but unless an employer tells you otherwise, you should always show up to an interview in full professional attire.

Smelling bad. Sometimes candidates walk into my office and leave a strong stench in their wake. Whether it’s smoke or an overdose of perfume / cologne, be mindful of how you present yourself to your interviewer. A strong smell can be a huge distraction, and not a good one.

Having a questionable online image. Incriminating photos on Facebook, inappropriate tweets, or an unfinished LinkedIn profile can hurt you. These days, most companies are researching candidates online before calling them into the hot seat.

Showing up to the interview unprepared. Many candidates fail to visit the company website or connect with the hiring manager(s) on LinkedIn prior to the first interview. But worst of all is how uncomfortable most of them feel when forced to talk about themselves in an organic way. Employers are only interested in people who can communicate how their background, education and long-term career goals align with the position and company culture in question. They’re not looking for someone to read from their resume.

Leaving your cell phone on. Oftentimes, candidates forget to turn their phones off, which leads to unwanted disruptions or worse, they actually take the call.

Showing up late. Hiring managers tend to understand that things happen, but failing to take any accountability or apologize tends to be the kiss of death.

Playing the blame game. Complaining about the economy, your last boss, or your personal life is by far the worst offense. Employers don’t respond well to negativity, and making excuses for job gaps, unemployment, or bumps on your resume is one of employers’ biggest pet peeves.

To some, these are obvious “don’ts” but they happen more often than you’d imagine, and when they do, employers can’t wait to send candidates home. Hiring managers immediately see you as a liability.

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