Candidate Resources Center

In today’s economy, job seeker must be at their best to land the opportunities they are after. We have included a number of tips and ideas that will be helpful for you in your job search. Whether you currently have a job and looking for a new position or recently laid-off and in need for a job ASAP, we believe that the enclosed tips will help you get interviews and ultimately – a job of your dreams!
  • Be available. Make sure recruiters and potential employers can get in touch with you to schedule interviews, get references, etc. In addition, make sure you are available to interview within a day or two of a request.
  • Have a resume ready and be willing to modify it. Employers are looking for specific experience. Although you may have a broad background, the resume sent to a potential employer should focus on the specific skills that they are looking for.
  • Have a list of references prepared. We will need to check these early in the process. Make sure that the contact information is accurate to avoid a delay.
  • Be aware of how fast things can move. If you take four days to modify your resume or to return a phone call, it is very likely that the position that we were calling about is already filled.
  • Do your research. Every employer wants to give the job to someone who really wants it. An easy way to show your enthusiasm is to do your research on the company and the position before an interview.
  • Prepare for your interview. Dress appropriately, arrive early, block out time in your day so that you are not rushed or stressed if the interview goes longer than planned, and leave your phone in your car.
  • Follow up. Call your recruiter after your interview and give your feedback. Do you like the company? Do you still want the job? Are you still interested?
  • Be upfront. Let us know important details that may factor into your job search. Do you have another offer already? Are you unavailable to interview certain days or times? Do you need to give more than a two week notice to your current employer? If a credit check or background check is required and there is something in your background that could potentially be a problem, please let us know. Employers who do these checks are going to find any issues, and unwillingness to come forward ahead of time can send the message that you are trying to hide something.
  • Be honest. Titles can have different meanings at different companies, but inaccurate information regarding salaries, dates of employment or education can be a red flag for potential employers.
  • Be detailed. Potential employers may require you to fill out applications or other paperwork about your experience. We realize that this may be on your resume already, but unwillingness to fill out their required paperwork or only filling it out partially can send the message that you are not interested in the position and not detail oriented.
Most people do much better in a face-to-face interview, but often times, a phone interview is required as a first step. Use these tips to make your phone interview as successful as possible.

  • Do your research. Take a few minutes to research the company and the position before your call and make sure that you know the name of the person(s) who will be calling so that you can address them by name. If additional people are on the call that you weren’t expecting, write their names down when they introduce themselves, so you can remember later.
  • Be prepared. Make sure your battery is fully charged, and you are sitting a quiet place that gets good reception. If you choose to give a home line or a line that others have access to, make sure that the line is open at the time of the call. Have a notepad and a pen on hand to take notes if necessary.
  • Be enthusiastic and friendly. This may not be as easy to convey over the phone as it is in person. The interviewer cannot see your big smile or your positive body language. However, starting off with something like, “Hi Bob! I am glad you called!” can definitely help. Also, telling the interviewer directly that you are very interested in the position is always a good idea.
  • Speak clearly and slowly. Once again, all they have to reference is your voice and what you say. Make sure they can understand your great answers.
  • Let them take control. They are most likely on a tight schedule and have a list of questions that they need to ask before the end of the call. Answer their questions and be friendly, but don’t try to steer the call in a totally different direction.
  • Don’t be too conscious of time. Your interviewer will end the call when they need to. Giving super short answers and then stating that they probably need to get off the call makes it look like you want to get off the call and aren’t interested.
  • Ask what the next steps are. Although they may not give you the straightforward answer that you are looking for, asking shows interest.
  • Follow up. Follow Up. Call your recruiter after the interview and let him or her know how you think it went, what you talked about, who you spoke with, and most importantly, if you want the job! Also, tell them how your call. What your interviewer(s) said to you may not mean much to you, but we may interpret it differently based on past experiences with the client.
Candidates should know the truth about how offers are made. Most companies go about it in the same way. Make sure you know what the standard process is when negotiating a salary so you don’t stick your foot in your mouth.

Facts vs. Opinions:

First, recognize that everything that goes into an offer will be “factual”. In other words, don’t expect a company to make you an offer based on what your friend earns in the same job or what someone told you that they thought your skills were worth. You will be much more effective if you stick to the facts.

Three Facts to Consider:

  1. Current Salary: Base salary, bonus (how much and when is it paid), review periods (how much and when it’s paid) and any other special perks (company car, fully covered medical insurance, etc.)
  2. Team Salaries: How your background and skills compare to the team of people that you will be working with. If the most senior person is making 95K and your skills are below their level, you will make below their salary. A company is not going to throw off their pay scale to hire one person.
  3. Additional Skills/Learning Curve: Any valuable skills you bring to the table above and beyond what is desired or any of the required skills that you don’t have and may need to be trained on will either add or subtract to the final outcome.

Remember to stick to the facts when negotiating a salary. You never want to overprice or underprice your market worth.

  • Be presentable and dress appropriately. Many times the traditional suit is the best choice for men and women. However, some companies are much more casual, and therefore, business casual attire might be better choice. Whether you are dressed in a suit or in something more casual, it is definitely wise to make sure that your shirt is clean and pressed; your shoes are shined; and you are hygienic.
  • Do your research. Look up the company online. Read over the website and any articles that you can find. Make sure to have a clear understanding of what they do and be familiar with any recent news stories. Look over the job description and make sure that you are familiar with the technologies mentioned. If you need to review anything, make sure to do so.
  • Arrive early. Plan on arriving 15 minutes early. You may have to wait, but make sure that you have that extra time in case you run into traffic, have trouble finding the building, or have to park far away.
  • Set aside enough time. Plan ahead so that you are not distracted or trying to cut it short to make it to another obligation.
  • Make eye contact and smile. It seems simple, but it makes a huge difference.
  • Let your personality shine through. Even if you are nervous, make sure that the interviewer not only sees you as a technical expert but also as a pleasant co-worker. A good personality and attitude often makes a huge difference.
  • Be honest. If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, be honest and say so. It would be great to say that you would certainly be willing to learn it, but if you don’t know it, admit it. They will find out soon enough that you lied.
  • Be enthusiastic and ask questions. Every employer wants to give the job to the person who really wants it. Being enthusiastic. Asking questions shows interest, which is extremely important.
  • Close the interview. Ask them the next steps and when you should expect to hear something.
  • Follow Up. Call your recruiter after the interview and let him or her know how you think it went, what you talked about, who you spoke with, and most importantly, if you want the job!
Because employers receive so many resumes, you must make sure yours will catch the employer’s attention within a 5 second glance. Your resume is your potential employer’s first impression. It must read as a solid and effective marketing tool.

We used our experience as recruitment professionals to list below the most important dos and don’ts” when writing a resume. We hope this will help you to write a bullet proof resume that will get you that job interview!

Do not send a standard resume.

One of the most common mistakes is creating a standard resume and then sending it to every opening. Take the time to customize your resume for each position. It is definitely worth it, as it will significantly increase your chances in landing an interview. The same point applies to your cover letters.

  • Research the company’s mission and vision on their website; look for keywords and values you can use in your resume.
  • Where is the company going? Are you on the same path? Make this obvious in your resume.
  • For IT and engineering positions, make sure you know the methodologies and technical environments in use at the company. Highlight your experience with each in your resume.
  • Analyze the job description and make sure you clearly mention the main skills in your resume.
  • Recruiters know their clients. Let them advise you on how to adjust your resume for that particular position.

Make the content of your resume sell.

Employers do not always have the time to read through your entire resume. Make it easy for them to find the information they are looking for. If they see unrelated job titles or skills before they can find the information they are looking for, they will very likely pass on your application.

  • Use keywords that are similar to the ones used in the job ad.
  • Bold the skills and experience that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Use job titles and headings that match the job you are targeting. For example, if you are applying for a .NET Developer position, make sure that for your past .NET development positions, you use the title “.NET Developer” versus “Developer”
  • Sell yourself and show how hiring you would benefit the employer. Detail your accomplishments, improvements you implemented, and if possible, the financial benefits your current and past employers gained thanks to your performance. Quantifying and using numbers create vivid images in the employer’s mind, whereas general statements are easy to skip over and forget.
  • Use Action and Power words. For example, do not use “responsible for …” but use action words such as: “managed” “directed”, “performed”.
  • Prioritize the content of your resume. Put first the most relevant information.
  • Structure your work experience. The titles of each should mention employers, locations and dates.
  • For every position, IT professionals should detail the technical environment they worked in and how the technology was used.
  • Explain gaps. Do not let an employer grow suspicious of gaps in your employment. Mention volunteer work, training or even career breaks to be a full time mom.
  • Do not lie. Even small lies should be avoided. Most HR departments do background checks and if they discover a lie, it will ruin your credibility.

Do not overdo layout and design details.

  • Keep the layout simple, structured, and clear. Do not use a colored background, fancy fonts or images on your resume.
  • Use bullets and short sentences where ever you can. No employer will have the time or patience to read long paragraphs.
  • Do not jam your resume with text. Allow white space between the words, lines and paragraphs, it can improve legibility.
  • Unless the employer specifically requests it, you should avoid attaching your picture to the resume.
  • Make sure the font is big enough; the smallest you should go is 11 points. Arial and Times are usually preferred.

Keep it as short and concise as possible.

It can be challenging to keep your resume to 1 or 2 pages but as previously mentioned, employers usually do not take time to read through a long resume. They will make their decision before finishing the first page. Just remember to keep it short and focused.

  • Do not mention obvious information such as “Available for interview” or “References available upon request.” Once you apply for a position, it is assumed that you are available to interview and will provide references if requested.
  • You do not need to detail all your work experience. Past positions that are not relevant can be listed but not detailed. Successive, short consulting assignments can usually be mentioned in one job description. Make sure to give the names of a few relevant clients. More details will be asked, if needed, during the interview.
  • Skip irrelevant information such as hobbies and religion.

Proofread your resume.

Small typos or grammatical errors will decrease your chances of getting an interview.

  • Make sure to proofread your own resume at least twice.
  • Have someone else review your resume.
  • Consider using a professional service to write your resume.
  • Make sure that your resume can be emailed easily. A word format of your resume attached to an email is generally the preferred format.

Remember that you are trying to sell yourself. All of the effort that you put into creating your resume will give you an advantage over the other candidates.

The competitiveness and success of firms in today’s complex and turbulent economy are unquestionably related to the ability of a business to innovate products, services and strategies at all levels of the organization. To that end, companies increasingly invest in new technologies, hoping to create competitive advantages.

Information Technology is a key player in this new business strategy, and it is not surprising to see an exponential advancement in this field. Therefore, it becomes crucial for IT Professionals to keep up with the emerging technologies and to proactively keep their technical skills up to date.

Because of the rapidly changing nature of technology and business strategy, we believe a “Top 10 of the latest IT trends” will not help. We prefer to give you tips that will help you identify new and upcoming trends and will help you use this information to design your own career path.

  • The number one rule is to be creative when identifying sources of information. Keep your radar on at all times.
  • Subscribe to professional IT magazines. You will find valuable information regarding new technologies, the latest innovations, and research. You will also find information about trendsetting companies who you might want to follow.
  • In general, look out for companies that are trendsetters. Working for a company that is always on the front line of innovation will automatically keep your skills set top notch.
  • Use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you will be able to find groups and blogs that discuss the latest innovations in your field of expertise. Groups that are not related to your field can also give you ideas on career changes and tips on how to move towards working with that new technology you are interested in. Use your connections and make new ones to stay in the game and be actively a part of the discussions.
  • Even if you are not actively looking for a new job, keep an eye on the job market and on the “Hot” Skills. Do not only visit common job boards such as Monster and Dice. Visit our website atwww.VantageLinks.com where you will find a lot of information regarding emerging technologies in our local job market.
  • Becoming a member of a professional association will always give you one step ahead.
  • Don’t forget to Google and surf online to find new information sources.
  • Develop a method for regularly reviewing those resources. For example, set aside one hour every Friday to be your “trend tracking” time. Schedule time on your calendar if you need to.
  • Not all the information you will find will be equally relevant. Some information may be more valuable and interesting to you depending on your career goals and your field of expertise. .
  • Make a list of the ideas you come across or save the information you find. You might want to go back to it later.
  • Discuss this information with colleagues and other IT professionals. Exchanging ideas is inspiring and contagious.
  • It all begins with being aware of the new technologies and innovations, but even more important is to use that information to stay on top of your game and to improve your career chances.
  • Don’t be afraid to share the information you find with your employer. Be a motor for innovation in your company or team.
  • Continuous training is the key through your employer or by yourself. Look out for training opportunities in the technologies you are interested in. This will prove to a company that you are working hard to keep yourself on top of your game. You show that you are flexible, resourceful and eager to learn. This makes you a valuable person that will bring an added value to the company and the business strategy.
  • Certifications are another very important credential you can use to convince a company you are on track of the newest technologies. This is, of course, an investment, but we are experiencing increasing importance placed on credentials in this job market.
  • Do not expect an employer to give you a chance to work on the latest technology if you do not show any sign of initiative towards it. It would be a big risk for the company, and other IT professionals will have worked their credentials towards that technology.

Information technology is moving away from its administrative and supportive role and becoming an essential part of business strategy for company. This makes information technology one of the most challenging and competitive fields. By reading this article, we hope that we to have given you ideas on how to keep track of technological innovation and how to use that information to influence your career path.

Aside from technical skills, one of the biggest things that an employer looks for when interviewing a candidate is enthusiasm. Someone who is excited about the company, the people, and the position, is likely to work harder to do a good job and try to impress his or her superiors.

In order to show enthusiasm, arrive on time, do your research on the company before the interview so you can speak intelligently about the business, smile, and be friendly. During the interview, be focused on the job that you are interviewing for. Make sure your mind is clear of other problems or opportunities. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you want the job and that you like the company. That is exactly what they want to hear.

One common mistake is that interviewers make is trying not to act desperate for a job .In trying to do this, they act uninterested, or indifferent. Do not make this mistake. Showing your excitement and pointing out why you would be a good fit and telling the interviewer that you want the position does not make you desperate. It makes you a good interviewer.

Remember, the bottom line is that every employer wants to give the job to someone who really wants it. They are excited about the company and what they are doing, and they want to hire someone who feels the same way.

References are more important than you may think, especially in this job market. Make sure that yours will help your chances of landing that dream job, not hurt it. What are companies looking for when they check a reference?

Relevancy

Make it a rule to skip personal references altogether. It is always a good idea to have at least one reference from your most recent position who can attest to your responsibilities and job performance. Find out if the employer would like to contact a Manager, Technical Lead, Customer, Subordinate, etc. This will help you figure out exactly what they are looking for. Don’t give blanket references out for every job. Try to wait until the final stages before providing these contacts to target the best references for that particular position.

Responsiveness

Not being able to get in touch with a reference definitely slows down the hiring process. Always provide your references’ work number, cell number and email address. Also, speak to your references every time before giving out their information, so that you know their schedule. For example, if they are on vacation or in training, you can help coordinate when the best time to call would be dodging any scheduling conflicts. Hopefully, if they are aware, they will return any missed communications promptly.

Enthusiasm

When you call your references to give them a heads up, tell them about the position you are interviewing for. Let them know how excited and interested you are and why you think it would be a good fit. The more enthusiasm you show, the more likely they will be to get excited and go the distance. Don’t forget to thank them! Bottom line, if you make the extra effort, they will do the same.

Validation

Obviously, companies are looking for someone to back up the information on your resume. Make sure your references are prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses that pertain to the role you are interviewing for. That way, they are able to discuss all aspects in an honest but positive light. The more prepared they are, the smoother the process will be.

While counter-offers may be tempting and even flattering, there can be pitfalls that you need to be aware of. Ask yourself these questions before you accept a counteroffer:

  • Will your loyalty always be in question?
  • If there are future cutbacks, will you be the first to go because of concerns about your loyalty?
  • If you accept the counteroffer for more money, are you just giving your employer the time they need to locate and select your replacement?
  • Will your career track remain blocked if you accept it?
  • Will your responsibilities be expanded?
  • Will you have to report to a person you don’t respect?
  • Will you receive next year’s raise or bonus early?
  • Is the counter-offer a ploy to avoid a short-term inconvenience by your employer?
  • What are your realistic chances for promotions now that you have considered leaving?

Counteroffer Statistics

According to national surveys of employees that accept counter-offers, 50-80% voluntarily leave their employer within six months of accepting the counteroffer because of unkempt promises. The majority of employees that accept counteroffers involuntarily leave their current employers within twelve months of accepting the counteroffer (terminated, fired, laid off, etc.). As attractive as counteroffers may appear, they greatly decrease your chances of achieving your career potential.

IT pros who aspire to a higher position need to lay the groundwork by developing the right relationships, refining their communications skills, and expanding their breadth of knowledge.

Even in difficult economic times, the opportunity for advancement exists. Whether you’re a front-line associate aiming for the next level or a senior vice president looking toward the CIO role, certain strategies will help you reach your goals. These steps can’t guarantee that you will move up within your organization, but they will definitely give you a leg up on the competition.

  1. Develop relationships within your organization — outside the IT department.

It seems like common sense, but this often gets pushed to the side in favor of day-to-day responsibilities that yield immediate results. It is much easier to communicate what you do and why it is important to someone who is used to hearing from you regularly. Make a habit of trying to develop a relationship within different business divisions at least once a month.

  1. Develop a message.

How does what you do, or what your team does, further the efforts of the organization? How does it help the business achieve its bottom-line objectives? You must be able to articulate the value of your position to the organization clearly. This often takes time and effort, but it is crucial to make the investment.

  1. Be open. Be available. Talk to people.

IT can often breed a solo or small team atmosphere. If you are a leader in your organization, be seen! Nothing is worse than a CIO, CTO, EVP, AVP, or even a director who stays behind closed doors and remains silent.

  1. Treat your top talent as you treat your boss.

If you think you have talked to them enough, go back and talk to them one more time. Trust me: if your top talent is nervous (and they are) and you’re not communicating with them, they are looking elsewhere. As times get more challenging, your top talent becomes more valuable. This rings true at every organizational level, from the front lines up. Replacing superstars is not easy.

  1. Understand your audience.

IT has a language all its own, and those outside IT may have trouble understanding it. In fact, it’s never a given that even those within IT, but in a different division, will understand the lingo associated with your specialty. Communicate with your audience in mind.

  1. Be consistent.

Nothing deflates an organization or a team more than perceived inconsistency in communication or communication style.

  1. Be open with information.

The expression “Information is power.” holds some truth; however, the idea that hoarding that information will result in more personal power does not. Controlling the flow of information is a losing proposition. Everything you do sends a message, and communications, or lack thereof, sends a clear message. (Hint: it is not a positive one).

  1. Develop partnerships with other IT divisions.

The tendency to end up in silos and spend precious little time networking with other divisions can cost opportunity. It happens in many divisions outside IT as well. Just like in sports, rising stars in different positions often end up leading the entire team because they developed those relationships along the way.

  1. Master other domains.

When commenting on professionals who are looking to ascend internally, I often hear IT executives cite the need to have experience in more than one space. While “master” might be a strong term, a well-balanced portfolio should not be limited to your 401k.

  1. Get a mentor.

Mentors are crucial in any business, and in a business where networking is not as common as in other lines of work (sales, marketing), mentoring is a great way to learn. It’s also a great way to develop a relationship with an executive you would not normally get to interact or spend significant time with.

  1. Don’t be late.

It sounds very simple, but you never know what might happen. Make sure you plan ahead for weather or traffic delays. A good rule of thumb is to allow an extra 30 minutes, just in case. If you do end up arriving more than 10-15 minutes early, hang out in your car or the nearest coffee shop, so you aren’t perceived as being too eager.

  1. Never dress casually.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, but now is not the time to show individuality. Men should wear a dark suit with a wrinkle-free shirt and a tie that doesn’t stand out. Your shoes should be shined and make sure you wear dark socks. Women should wear a dark suit with nice blouse with desired accessories and makeup that do not overly stand out. Make sure your shoes are business appropriate and easy to walk in. Overall, everyone should make sure they look neat and well-groomed.

  1. Don’t show up empty handed.

Make sure to bring a few copies of your resume with you, along with a notepad and pen to take notes. You always want to be perceived as prepared and interested in the position you are interviewing for.

  1. Don’t omit information on the application.

Do not, under any circumstances, write “see resume”. It may seem like a clever time saver to you, but the company could peg you as lazy and uninterested in the position.

  1. Bad breath.

If you smoke, don’t do it right before your interview. If you have gum or a mint in your mouth, get rid of it. Try to brush your teeth some time before the interview.

  1. Catching a phone interview on the fly.

Make sure to treat phone interviews seriously. Although it does not seem as formal, it is often your first impression and you want to make a good one. Make sure you are in a private place where you can speak freely. Don’t duck into the nearest restroom.

  1. A ringing cell phone.

If you do have your phone with you, make sure to turn it off. Nothing is more distracting and embarrassing during an interview than an annoying, ringing cell phone.

  1. The guessing game.

If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t guess at it. Share as much information as you do know about the subject and then let them know how you would go about finding out the information. No one expects you to know everything, so showing your resourcefulness will help you to stand out in a crowd.

  1. Don’t walk out empty handed.

Make sure to collect business cards from each person that you meet with so you can send thank you emails afterwards.

  1. Don’t be afraid.

If you are certain that you want the job, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know. Make it loud and clear that you are excited and interested.

If you have ever spent an afternoon applying for jobs, you know just how tiring it can be. Typing keywords into job boards and reading positions until your eyes cross, and then after all that, you may never get a call back! Here are some tips you can use before you apply to make sure you are a good fit for any positions you would like to pursue.

Why should you care about being a good fit? Saint Louis is a small town. As recruiters we often recognize resumes or names when they pop up in our inboxes, and applying for every job you see without making sure you are a fit first makes your skills seem unfocused.

  • First and foremost, stick to your current skillset. If you are interested in branching into a new field, you should look for positions that combine your current skills with those that you would like to acquire. For example, few hiring managers are willing to consider a candidate with 10 years of helpdesk experience for a Senior IT Project Manager position. If you want to get into Project Management, you should look for an entry-level Project Management position that focuses on helpdesk projects.
  • Once you have located a suitable position, scan the job description and look for keywords. These keywords are what help recruiters and hiring managers know which candidates have the skills they are looking for. A keyword will typically be in a sentence like “must have experience with______” or “5 years or more with ____”.
  • Once you have located these keywords, write them down or copy them into a separate document or isolating them so they are easy to find.
  • Review your resume. Do you have these skills or synonyms of these skills in your resume? Of course very few individuals possess every skill on a job description. A good rule of thumb is to be sure you have all of the skills with the exception of one or two before you apply.
  • Now that you know you have the required skill base, check to see if you have the number of years of experience that they are asking for. The years of experience are a result of careful thinking and analysis on the part of the hiring manager, so having fewer than 5 years of experience with a particular skill when 5 years are required will most likely disqualify you.
  • Check for educational requirements. Do you have the degree or certifications that the job description calls for? If not, you will most likely be disqualified.
  • Lastly, look at any information that may be provided about the size of the company. Does it sound like it is a similar size to your current or most recent company? If not, you may be disqualified. This is because to employers, there is a big difference between supporting 40 users and supporting 4000. This doesn’t only apply to support positions either! Project managers, developers and engineers at larger companies perform more collaboration on a daily basis than their counterparts at smaller companies. Collaboration is an important skill that enterprise level employers are looking for.
  • Once you are certain that you are a strong fit, make sure the person who receives your resume knows it too! Send a detailed cover letter that describes how you are a perfect fit for the position and company in the job description.
When you apply for a position, the only thing that your potential employer knows about you is through your resume. Use these simple tips to make sure your resume looks and sounds great when you submit it for a position. Remember that there is only one chance to make a first impression.

  1. Run spell check. It’s so simple and easy, yet so many people forget to do it.
  2. Make sure that you are not missing information. If you cannot remember exactly when you worked at a particular company, take the time to look it up so your resume is complete and accurate.
  3. Be consistent. If you decide to bold and underline job titles, make sure to do it throughout the resume. Don’t bold some, and underline others. If you are listing, company name, title, and dates of employment in that order, stick to that order and don’t change it for each position. Don’t switch back and forth between “to” and “-“ when you are listing dates.
  4. Stick to relevant information. Most employers are not interested in your hobbies, your extracurricular activities, or your family size. They are interested in the skills relevant to the position they are hiring for.
  5. Include a short professional summary relevant to the position you are applying to. This is your chance to summarize your experience, skills, and education and let your potential employer know why you are a good fit for the position. Do not get carried away – This does not need to be a full page long.
  6. Modify your resume for each position, to make sure that the most important information is present.
Sometimes you feel like you are a perfect fit for a position and you aced the interview, but you still did not get the job. It can be frustrating and definitely leave you wondering why. Here are some of the most common reasons.

  • You didn’t do your research.
    Before any interview, whether in person or on the phone, you need to look up the company’s website and make sure that you know what they do and who their clients/partners are. It would be wise to go one step further and Google the company to see if you can find any recent articles or news about them. Another smart move is to look up the person that you will be interviewing with on LinkedIn. Check to see if you share any connections, which could help you get in your foot in the door. Being unprepared sends the wrong message to the interviewer. Always go in with as much ammunition in your back pocket as possible to convey to the potential employer that you are interested, organized, and on top of your game.
  • Your resume wasn’t up to par.
    When you are applying for a job make sure your resume reflects the position you are applying for. You should ensure that the details on your resume meet the qualifications of the position. A few key things to remember are to make sure your contact information, spelling and grammar; and dates are correct. Dates should be displayed from newest to oldest. List all the details of your skillset with the most relevant details listed first, and make certain that your resume is written clearly and concisely. If you are going to use acronyms, make sure that they are correct. Don’t copy and paste information without verifying accuracy. Be consistent in formatting; make sure the font is the same, the bullet points match up, and the margins are even. The flow of the resume is important; a resume that has a nice flow and is formatted easy to read. Following these guidelines ensures that your resume looks strong and clear, showing how and why you are qualified for the position applying for.
  • Your online presence may be inappropriate.
    Perhaps you need to better manage your online profile and realize that potential employers are likely to check you out online. Google yourself and find out what comes up. If you have made comments that you wish you didn’t, go back and edit if possible. Perhaps there are pictures out there that you may want to delete as well. Also, avoid posting inappropriate content in the first place. Every social media site has privacy settings, and using those settings to organize your friends and professional contacts on separate lists may be a good idea. Try to limit what the general public can gain access to online. Make sure the professional profile you have on LinkedIn truly reflects what your resume says. If you have your own website, make sure the content is such that you wouldn’t mind showing a potential employer. Managing your online profile and reputation is critical for job seekers. While it is impossible to control all content, make sure you are giving the best online impression possible.
  • You didn’t answer the interview questions appropriately.
    Maybe you didn’t interview as well as you thought. While giving tons of detail may seem like a good idea, it is important to remember your audience. Giving a very technical answer to a non-technical person can be confusing. Oh the other hand, giving a short answer to an interviewer who is trying to determine your technical experience makes you seem as though you don’t know very much or you may come across as a poor communicator. Sometimes, you may not know the interviewer’s background and how technical they are – so how can you be sure to give an appropriate answer? An appropriate answer in general, is to explain how many years of experience you have with the technology as a whole, note which of the prominent related technologies you have used, and then ask if the interviewer would like more detail. Example: if the question is “How many years of experience do you have in .NET development?” an appropriate answer for either a technical or non-technical audience would be “I have been developing in .NET for 5 years. I perform front-end development using ASP.NET and I have mostly worked with SQL Server as the back-end, though I have also worked with Oracle. Would you like me to go into more detail about the technologies that I have used?”. This way, non-technical interviewers can be satisfied that you have answered the question without confusing them and technical interviewers can ask for more detail.
  • You have unreasonable expectations.
    Maybe you are missing some of the key things on their list of requirements for the position, and you still expect to be paid at the very top of the salary range for the position. Maybe you have 5 weeks of vacation at your current company after being there for 15 years and you expect that to be matched immediately, when that is typically something that is earned with time. Although, it is understandable that taking a new position needs to be beneficial for you, keep in mind that the employer wants to attract the right person for the job as well. They typically want to avoid attracting someone based on a significant salary increase alone. If you are asking for a substantial salary increase, be sure to provide relevant documentation that supports your cause. Technical tests, performance reviews, and actual examples of your work are all good ideas. Also, remember to have confidence in yourself as an employee. More often than not, once you get the job and show your employer how valuable you are, salary increases and bonuses are likely to follow. A huge increase in salary won’t necessarily come on day one but that doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there.

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