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7 Petty Things Managers Judge Job Seekers On

So you arrived at your interview looking casket sharp with your resume in hand. You did exceedingly well in your phone interview, so you knew when walking into the door that you were only interviewing in person because of “policy.”

However, two days later after performing what you thought was your best interview performance ever — Oscar nomination anyone? — you receive the dreaded, “Thank you, but no thank you” email.

You were so confident that you had the job, so what happened? Where did it all go wrong? Sometimes, when we obsess over dotting all of our “i’s” and crossing all of our “t’s,” we forget to add punctuation marks and capitalize necessary letters.

Translation: Sometimes we put too much focus on the large items to the point where we neglect the small things that also matter.

As a hiring manager, when I look at a resume or interview someone, I can always determine if I am interested in the applicant. Some people may think I’m too picky, but I think that any hiring manager has to be if they want to hire the best person for the job.

Believe it or not, I’m no different from any other hiring manager or recruiter. There are so many things that hiring managers are naturally meticulous about, yet potential candidates don’t realize it. And a small mistake made in your interview is actually more detrimental than you think.

Call me “Petty La’Belle,” “Petty Betty,” or “Petty Wap,” but here are 7 small things that I and other hiring managers judge job seekers on.

1. You talk way too much.

I once interviewed someone for an hour and I literally only asked them three questions. While hiring managers prefer that candidates not skimp on the details, we also appreciate those who allow us to communicate all of our questions. When I interviewed the candidate mentioned above, I wasn’t able to ask them half of the most important questions.  As a result, they didn’t interview well or get the job because I couldn’t get enough (or any concrete) interview answers from them.

Moral of the story: Just like my mom always says, “There’s a time to talk and a time to quiet down. Learn the difference.”

2. You show up too early.

Never arrive at an interview more than 20 minutes early. When you show up too early, the interviewer may feel obligated to rush what they are doing to interview you. Remember, being early is a wise idea, but there is a such thing as being too early. If you arrive 20 minutes early or more for your interview, just wait to walk in.

 3. Your bullet point usage is wrong.

One thing that others may call petty is the way I — and other hiring managers— analyze resumes. Poor resume formatting, and the improper usage of bullet points is a major foul, especially if you are interviewing for a management or administrative position.

Here are two bullet point rules for resumes that you should be aware of:

Rule 1: If the text that follows the bullet point is not a proper sentence, it doesn’t have to end with a period. For example:

  • Managed a staff of 30 people
  • Processed payroll using ADP Payroll Services
  • Created new on-boarding handbook for new hires

Rule 2: If the text following the bullet point is a complete sentence, a period at the end is required. For example:

  • In this role, I managed a staff of 30 people.
  • I used ADP Payroll Services to process payroll.
  • Within my first year, I created a new on-boarding handbook for new hires.

4. Not following directions.

Sometimes in the job posting, the employer may request certain items to be included in your cover letter. When you are applying for a job, don’t rush through the application so that you can press “submit.” Take your time and read everything. You never know what important details will be in the job details or application requirements.

5. Calling from a cell phone with poor reception.

In a phone interview, the last thing a hiring manager wants to do is to waste their time on the phone saying, “Can you hear me now?” The way that I look at it, you know what areas you have the best phone reception at and the worst. Always choose your location wisely before a phone interview.

6. Your resume format isn’t the best.

The most undesirable form of resumes are those in .txt format. At all times, your resume should be in a PDF or Word document. Even if you have great experience, frankly any resume in .txt format can de-value it.

7. Going MIA during the hiring process.

I’ve interviewed some really great candidates, but those candidates were not given a job offer because they went missing in action. If you are looking for a job, make sure you are accessible. How do you expect to get hired when the hiring manager cannot reach you? If you are planning to take a vacation, let the hiring manager know so that they won’t think you are just ignoring them if they contact you.

If you are a hiring manager, what are some interview or resume dealbreakers? Drop a comment below and let us know!