Land Your Dream Job
Careers that help you move from intention to action

5 Job Search Tactics That Might Make You Look Bad

Close up of a keyboard with a Find the Job key on it.

When it comes to job seeking, you probably already know what to avoid: don’t send food to hiring managers or drop by their offices unannounced. But what about other seemingly innocent tactics like mailing your resume? Do these harm your chances of landing a job?

Over on Ask A Manager, HR expert Alison Green outlines five job search tactics that, while not being deal breakers, can reflect poorly on candidates. Here are a few that stood out to us:

"Having a four-page resume.  Strong candidates just don’t write overly long resumes. They know how to edit and they know what matters and what doesn’t. (There’s a small handful of fields where long resumes are normal, where this of course wouldn’t apply.) It’s not a deal-breaker in and of itself, but top candidates never do it — so when an experienced hiring manager sees a long resume, they’re instantly primed to expect a weaker candidate.

FedExing your resume or sending a hard copy when the instructions call for electronic submissions, or any other gimmick done in the service of “standing out.”  I’ve ranted plenty in other posts about why doing this is a bad idea — but it’s on this particular list because I’ve literally never seen strong candidates do it."

Read the rest on Ask A Manager.

You can stand out as a top candidate by keeping a few tips in mind when applying for a job:

Follow the directions

Yes, it seems straightforward, but make sure you are following the directions stated in the job description. If there are questions to answer, make sure you answer them. If materials must be sent via email, send them via email. It’s all too easy to miss certain instructions if you’re rushing to apply for a job, so take your time. Here are a few resources to explore:

Tailor your resume and cover letter to fit the position

The best way to stand out is to clearly demonstrate how you’re a great fit for the position. Here are a few resources to help you do that:

Did you enjoy this post? There's plenty more where this came from! Subscribe here for updates.

by Allison Jones

Explore Jobs on Idealist