Today’s job search process has become extremely complex and it’s easy to make a single mistake that causes the whole project to self-destruct. Here are a 5 tips to keep your job search alive, as you deal with bizarre questions on job interviews, conflicting advice on writing your resume and a whole lot more.
(1) Google your own name. You can bet recruiters and employers are doing this. If you want to post personal information about yourself, create a private group and invite only close friends and family members. Occasionally someone with a grudge could post a doctored photo of you anywhere or take advantage of a moment when you’re not expecting to be photographed. Report abuse to Facebook and, if appropriate, law enforcement.
(2) Play fair with recruiters. Always ask recruiters if they have a conflict of interest that prevents them from recruiting you. Before accepting a position, make sure you plan to show up for the job. Recruiters have long memories.
(3) Operate from a position of strength. When you act confident, you’re most likely to get realistic, desirable job offers. Stay away from resume blasters and send out your resume with care. Avoid calling back repeatedly to check on the status of your application. You can make one call to be sure you haven’t missed an email (after checking your spam folders carefully), but if you appear overly concerned you’ll be dismissed as desperate.
(4) Resist the temptation to dumb down your resume or falsify info. If you’re truly overqualified for your job, you might find the experience extremely stressful. Some people handle these situations well; others develop physical and behavioral problems. And “fake it till you make it” doesn’t work in today’s electronically connected world.
(5) Use humor with caution. Once I read about an executive who was asked to take a drug test. He joked about, “Just wait a few days.” He was blacklisted. Ironically I suspect a real drug user wouldn’t make a joke.
Once I applied for a telecommute position where I was asked to sign a form promising not to bring drugs “on the premises.” Since the premises in question were 1500 miles away and I don’t do drugs (except caffeine), I figured I wouldn’t last long in that position. So I wrote back to say I would take special precautions to keep my cats from consuming catnip in my home office. It was a fun way to decline the position without saying a direct, “No thanks.”