There are tons of factors you have to think about when you apply for a job, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook simple things. You may be scaring employers away without realizing it. Here are some important, and often overlooked, aspects employers notice.
1. Contact Information
Believe it or not, your contact information can affect your ability to get a job. If you have an unprofessional email address, like email@example.com, employers will probably get the impression that you are unprofessional. Since there are many free options for email, there is no reason not to get an address that is some variation of your name. Doing so shows that you care about your professional image and helps employers know they are contacting the right person.
Along the same lines, you should get rid of ring back tones and make sure your voicemail message isn’t a joke. If you are serious about your job hunt, show it by sending a serious message. Make sure you state your name in your voicemail message so that employers know they have called the right number.
2. Social Media and Internet
Do you think employers don’t check your social media accounts? Many do before they ever hire you. That doesn’t mean that you should delete your account, but delete scandalous photos or comments. You may also want to reconsider inflammatory and political posts, since you might offend someone. If it is important to you to maintain your social media accounts, make sure you change privacy settings so that only friends can see your activity. You may even want to change your name or search settings. Don’t even think about posting negative comments about your current job. Nothing scares away potential employers faster than a person who publically complains about his or her job.
Another aspect of your web presence that may affect decisions is what happens when you do a web search for your name. If the first thing that comes up is an arrest, photos of you at a party, or information about your love life, you may need to do some damage control. Many issues can be solved through limiting social media accounts, but if there is other unpleasant information, you may need to ask for information to be removed from sites or work with a professional to have the content removed or buried.
Any professional should be searching for his or her own name regularly to limit unwanted surprises.
3. Body Language
You’ve probably heard that body language is important, but you may not realize how important. Slouching can convey disinterest, while fidgeting and excessive gestures may make you look anxious. It’s important to maintain good posture and good eye contact. Non-verbal cues can be the deciding factor in whether or not you give your potential employer a good feeling about hiring you or not, especially if he or she is torn on the decision.
4. Verbal Cues
Just like non-verbal cues are important, employers pay attention to your verbal communication, too. If you sound monotone, your employer may think you are disinterested, but too much inflection is distracting. Try to speak normally, even when you’re nervous.
Employers also listen to grammar. While they probably won’t care if you don’t know when to use “who” or “whom,” they will notice if you use double negatives, incorrect tenses, or unprofessional colloquialisms. Poor grammar is equated with the being poorly educated; so don’t give employers a reason to doubt you. Sound professional. If you struggle with this, refresh your grammar online, or talk to someone who has excellent grammar skills about how to improve your communication.
You know you need to dress professionally, but the reason is that it shows employers that you are professional and serious about the job. That goes beyond just wearing nice clothes. You need to brush your hair, make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled, and stay clean so that employers see that you will project the right type of image for their company.