5 Small Things Candidates Overlook When Job Hunting

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Looking for a job can be a difficult process. There are many variables to consider when you are looking for the right employer for you, and there is even more pressure if you happen to be unemployed while you are looking for a new job. In order to best succeed, you need to present yourself as the right fit for whatever job you interview for. There are many resources out there for giving you tips on how to craft your resume, dress for the interview, and conquer phone screens and in-person interviews with confidence. But to even get to that interview stage, there are many small things that jobseekers overlook. Here are three things you should consider in order to paint yourself as the perfect candidate.

  1. Professional Custom Voicemails

Think of a voicemail as a first impression. It is the first time an interested party hears you speak. If a potential employer is calling you, they have seen your resume, considered your value as a candidate, and want to hear more from you. When you aren’t available to pick up the phone, your voicemail message will be the voice behind the piece of paper. Your tone of voice and language used, even in a voicemail message, will paint that critical first impression of you. You have to make sure your personal voicemail message does not come across as too casual. But it does not have to be overly professional, either. An effective voicemail is one that is simple - just not too simple, so make sure you record on instead of using the default. It should prompt the caller for their name, contact information and the reason for the call while providing reassurance that you will reach back out. Lastly, it is imperative that you regularly empty your voice mailbox so that callers are able to leave voicemails.

  1. Email address

How many emails do you get in a day? The last thing you need is all the hiring site updates and correspondence from potential employers being intermixed with your crowded email inbox. Create an email address specifically for job hunting. As long as you keep on top of it, this will prevent important emails from getting “lost in the noise” to make sure you never miss an important email notification from a prospective employer again. Staying organized is critical when job hunting because it can be easy to lose track of all the roles you apply for. According to Indeed, the average applicant applies to 10-15 jobs per week before they eventually find the right one. When you factor in automatic emails that are received daily from free online job boards like Careerbuilder, iHire, etc., your professional inbox is likely to end up as full as your personal one so it is all the better to keep them separate. When creating an email address for job hunting, consider one that is easily identifiable and simple (without too many symbols or numbers).

  1. Profile photos

Hiring managers are people too, and what do people do when they want to know more about someone they have never met? They do some light Googling, more specifically hiring managers search for a candidate’s LinkedIn page. When they first put a face to your name by seeing your profile photo, you want to make sure it leaves a good impression. Be sure to create an air of professionalism both in your look and in the photo quality. Your attire should fit the look you would present as someone in your preferred line of work. Be sure to use a neutral background and not to have anyone else in the photo. The photo itself is important so make sure you are lit from the front and that you are in-focus and not blurry. Headshots are preferable to photos that show more of your body. To help with all of this, get someone else to take your photo. This will be the image that represents who you are to someone who’s never met you before. Make sure it is a good representation of the person you want to present yourself as in the workplace. You want to hit the standard of professionalism that your ideal employer would hold for its candidates.

Incorporating these things into your job-searching process will help you take control over how potential employers see you and will prevent you from missing opportunities by keeping your voicemail and email inboxes organized. With these tools, you can cover all of your bases in crafting the perfect candidate persona. 

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