Guerzo Business Blog

Powerful Results

How to Not Get Hired – 5 Ways Job-Seekers Take Themselves Out of the Hunt

I help businesses hire the right people to help their company grow.  My recruiting goals are to find the right person quickly, and make sure candidates are who they portray themselves to be.

Need help getting hired?The news reports on unemployment imply a vast pool of talented people awaiting the right opportunity; perfect for many jobs, if only they were provided with a chance.

I have found a different reality, one in which candidates take themselves out of contention.

While online job searches aren’t the easiest way to find a job, thousands of jobs are filled this way.  To improve your odds, here are five top ways not to get hired.

1. High volume applying.  Yes, technology can make things efficient, and it may seem reasonable to set a goal for number of jobs applied for (almost any goal is good).  But most people do not have a great system for making those applications seem customized.  I have read many cover letters that are obviously generically written to describe the person, leaving out why they are a fit for my job.

Poor Impression: Since most jobs require attention to detail, a generic cover letter that omits posting-specific relevant points paints a picture of a corner-cutter who takes the easy way out and is not focused.

Take the time to customize each application to address the specific job requirements you see posted.

2. Generic/Missing email copy.  When I screen resumes, I long to read an engaging and well-worded email.  So many applicants attach a resume and cover letter to a blank email.  In my inbox, they are totally generic.

Poor Impression: This person might be inwardly focused, not customer focused.

A well-worded email, on the other hand, shows the candidate put some thought into why they are qualified, and serves as another cover letter and opportunity to make a memorable point.

3. Not checking job boards regularly.  The best candidates seem to respond within the first 48 hours of a posting.  Either they have excellent timing, or they have a process of checking for opportunities.

Good Impressions: Problem-solver, disciplined, organized

4. Failure to send a thank you.  A thank you note, call, or email shows confidence and a desire for the position.  I treasure the beautifully written emails that tactfully ask for the position.  It shows poise under pressure.

Impression: Not a standout, average.

Taking a moment to send an email thanking someone for the opportunity will set you apart from 99% of your job-seeking competition.

5. Expecting the process to follow your timeline.  In a large corporation, the hiring process can take 6 weeks or more.  In a small business, it can take 1 week.  Candidates expecting a multi-step and lengthy process sometimes mistrust an opportunity (that they applied for) that wants to see them tomorrow.  I know this sounds crazy, but it happens all the time.  It goes the other way, too.  People who REALLY need a paycheck can kill their chances by being overly aggressive in following up.

Impression: Self-centered viewpoint may not do well in new situations.

Don’t be that person who has the skills, but shares them in an offhand way.  Put yourself in the shoes of the reader, and take the extra step to make yourself memorable- you will stand out from the crowd.

Patricia Guerzo

President of GBSC and Chief Strategist is an accomplished business executive with a proven record of enhancing bottom line results.

Advisor, mentor and friend.

“Of course I love a challenge, but the best part of my job is watching clients celebrate their new success.”

Contact Me


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