HR professionals point out common mistakes made by those applying for their job, providing a list of dos and don’ts.
Many argue that academies fails to prepare fresh graduates in communication etiquette, necessary in the corporate world. It is thus a task for some of them to even get employed as job interviews require one to present his or her skills, while conducting oneself in a certain manner. To address these concerns, we list mistakes made my first-time job aspirants and how they can be corrected.
– Email etiquette
So, you’ve heard about a suitable job, managed to procure the employer’s email id and decided to shoot off your resume for consideration. But when you’re a fresher, your resume may not be your biggest strength. So what do you do?
“A mistake freshers make in their resume is, since there’s little to speak of in terms of professional achievement, they litter it with details about their family and their hobbies,”says Srinivas Rao Katkoor, Director Human Resources – South Asia, SAS Institute (India) Pvt Ltd. Rao adds that freshers need to highlight their educational qualifications, technical skills and their college projects in their resume. “If you’ve done an internship, you need to mention your exact role and learning from it in your resume,” adds Rao, who feels that grammar and punctuation cannot be compromised in one’s CV. “A cover letter is also a must and it should briefly summarize the candidate’s skills and the kind of role they’re looking for, along with a reason for applying for the role and choice of company,” says Rao.
How one addresses the person receiving the resume is vital too. A “Hi” followed by the person’s name is seen in poor light. “It would be advisable that the candidate figures out who he is applying to and address the mail to the concerned person, making the application personalized. And one should never make the mistake of applying to multiple companies by adding several email ids in the BCC as it’s seen as unprofessional,” says Rao. A suitable salutation in such emails could be `Dear Sir’, `Dear HR Manager’ or `Dear Hiring Manager’.
On a different note, the email id created to send your resume could also affect your chances of getting short-listed. “If an employer receives a resume from an id like firstname.lastname@example.org, the reaction it would receive is obvious,” laughs Ashish Arora, Managing Director, HR Anexi Pvt Ltd, who recommends short and straightforward email ids with a subject line clearly drawing attention to the role being applied for.
– Telephonic skills
You may have been talking on the phone for decades, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re prepared for a telephonic interview. Usually the first filter in most interviews, this is the stage when employers connect employees to validate the claims made on their resume. “First-time job applicants aren’t aware of etiquette to be followed in telephonic interviews. You rarely come across candidates who begin a call with a greeting like ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ based on the time of the day,” says Rao, who feels that one should be frank, using this as a chance to talk about specialized skills. Doubts about the exact role can be clarified along the way.
– Face to face interview
The way to approach the final interview where one meets one’s prospective employer to pitch one’s skills has been much debated. What to wear, how to conduct oneself or even what to prepare for, are all grey for most freshers who make the common mistake of going ill-prepared and end up being rejected. A firm shake hand and constant eye contact during the interview are known to convey confidence and honesty but there’s plenty else to learn.
“Shabby attire, reaching late for an inter view, laid-back posture communicate that the candidate is unenthusiastic,” says Arora. He advises that candidates speak slowly and clearly, responding to questions honestly, after having heard the entire question. “Another common mistake is asking how much one will be finally paid, early on in the interview. This is a stage when the candidate’s employment has not been confirmed and it is looked at in poor taste,” adds Arora.