As you spend hours poring over your CV, half a day on a covering letter and still more time trawling through the online job boards, you might not realise that this hard work could all be undone in a matter of seconds - if your actions don’t match up to the character traits you’ve listed on your CV.
When it comes down to the wire between two candidates in an interview process, it’s these traits and interpersonal skills - rather than your technical knowledge - that could make or break your success. We reveal the four areas to be mindful of when looking for a new role.
Respect your employer
In your descriptions of current / previous employers, it goes without saying that you should never disrespect or be too negative. What you might not have realised is that this also applies to your treatment of them during your job hunt. A light-hearted ‘Oh, I’ll just call in sick to make the interview’, implies a carelessness that is unlikely to be well received by your prospective new boss.
Whilst it can be challenging to search for a new role in full-time employment, be assured that any disregard for your employer will be viewed as an indicator of your future actions.
Keep each interaction professional
Your CV and cover letter are probably fantastic. Free of typos and grammar errors, they played a major role in securing your placement on the shortlist of a great position. Ensure the same level of care goes into each and every interaction with your recruiter or hiring manager too.
If you’re communicating by text message or email, double check it before you hit ‘send’ - or better, ask a friend to review it as well. Avoid being too chummy; use ‘Good morning’ rather than ‘Hey buddy’; and keep all communication to the same tone you would have used in the creation of your CV.
Everyone is a referee
In the world of work, everyone is a referee. Expect anyone and everyone to be asked for their opinion of you, so ensure you conduct yourself appropriately at all times! Don’t save your ‘A’-game for the only person you think matters. Everyone, from the receptionist at the recruiting firm, to the tea lady at the prospective employer’s office, could volunteer or be called upon for their opinion of you.
Work on your small talk
Incredible though it may be, small talk could be the clincher in the decision to hire you. Small talk forms a critical part of the rapport-building process (not to mention being indicative of your interpersonal skills), so think about how you might address it when the time comes. A little forethought will go a long way in the creation of some light conversational topics. These could prove useful in filling any silences when you’re being escorted from reception to an interview room, for example, be it with a recruiter, HR manager or hiring manager.
When you’re looking for a new role, each and every interaction should be treated with care and attention. Reflect those behaviours and personality traits listed on your CV in all of your actions. Even if you don’t secure the role, your integrity will be well-regarded and is highly likely to serve you well down the track!