Don't offer a bribe - and other ways not to get a job

Sep 05 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Spelling mistakes and orange juice stains on your application, offering bribes, bringing your recruiter to the interview (and getting him to ask the questions) – some job seekers really don't seem to get it when it comes to making a good impression, according to a new study.

A survey by California recruitment agency OfficeTeam also reported that some desperate candidates even showed up for work when they hadn't been chosen for a job – evidently hoping to slip in unnoticed and be discovered only years later.

The most common blunders, said OfficeTeam, were not researching the company, over- or underselling your skills, complaining about former bosses and treating clerical staff poorly.

Other common howlers included talking too much or too little in the interview, failing to return calls or following up the recruitment process too frequently.

Renee Warning, a human resources professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, told the Daily Oklahoman newspaper that getting the etiquette right is a crucial part of getting that foot in the door.

Her students are taught how to read resumes and interpret employment lapses to observing candidates' nails, shoes, eye contact and body language.

Many job seekers struck themselves out immediately by sending resumes and cover letters from ridiculously named e-mail addresses, such as [email protected], she added.

Other common mistakes to try to avoid, but which are surprisingly common, include mistakenly mentioning another prospective employer in your cover letter or when saving your CV as an attachment.

It is also a good idea to check what you may have posted in the past online, as many companies now carry out online background searches on potential candidates.

Debbie Anglin, principal of Anglin Public Relations, one company which does such searches, said: "Social networks like MySpace and Facebook expose vulnerabilities. I was shocked to find brainless statements like 'I like to party' and was concerned about the amount of personal information students are sharing."