Too often, job seekers don't pay enough attention to the small details that might mean the difference between continued interest for a position… or rejection.
Whether it's a resume, personal appearance, or unprofessional language, the little things often make the biggest difference!
What kind of impression do you make? As a professional, or careless? Judgments will be made about you every step along the way of your job search. Don't think it's "No big deal", and don't think that "close enough" is good enough!
Resumes are their first impression of you! A survey in 2006 by OfficeTeam, an international staffing firm, showed 84% of hiring execs would eliminate a candidate for two typos in their resume. 47% said one typo. I know MANY hiring managers that would immediately eliminate a candidate for a position because of even a minor mistake in their resume. Are they being unreasonably picky? You can certainly have your own opinion about that, however, when they see your resume, that's all they know about you so far. This is the document, they believe, that is to represent your experience, accomplishments, capabilities, and professionalism in your very best light. This is what you "lead" with. If you have typo's, bad grammar, bad formatting, or other errors it's easy for them to assume you are sloppy, careless, or unprofessional. If this is your "best foot forward", what's your average work like? Especially in today's competitive job market, they certainly have other resumes to compare that are without errors… why should they consider yours?
Appearance and greeting matter! The same principals about your resume certainly apply to your appearance when you show up to a meeting. Generally, people form an opinion about someone within the first few seconds of meeting them. Depending on what opinion was formed, you will either have an easier time persuading them of your fitness for the position, or a much more difficult one throughout the rest of the meeting.
Disheveled hair, overly wrinkled or ill-fitting clothing, white socks with a dark suit, a "beach bag"-like purse, a sloppily tied tie, too casual of attire, or inappropriate or scuffed shoes all convey carelessness or lack of professionalism. And they convey a sense that the person didn't think the meeting was important enough to pay attention to those details. Similarly, a lack of a smile when greeting them, limp handshake or weak voice all convey a lack of confidence or interest.
As with a resume with errors, why should they consider you when others they've met appear to be more meticulous and pay more attention to the "little things".
Language counts! Regardless of how well the chemistry might be between a hiring manager and candidate, in the vast majority of cases the decision to hire is still a business decision. Treating an interview too casually, or using slang or profane language conveys a lack of professionalism. It creates a concern about how the candidate might offend others in the organization that might not feel comfortable with it. And it, again, puts into question their seriousness about making a good impression. When compared to other candidates that are more careful, the decision to count you out becomes easy.
Many people treat their job search too casually and don't pay close attention to the details. Often the sentiment is: They should hire me for what I can do, not for "insignificant" details!
However, it's usually those "insignificant" details that give them clues to the overall package. And when, as they are likely to have in this market, others they compare you to that also have the right experience, however, are also meticulous… it becomes clear that…
"Close enough" won't cut it!