15 Ways to Kill Your Chances at a Job

How to ensure your resume or application ends up in the trash can…

1. Rush the resume together.

  • Have some obvious corrections and some errors in spelling and grammar.
  • Omit your address and phone number.
  • Use a fancy hard-to-read print type and add some handwritten notes at the bottom.
  • Faint or blurry photocopies are great!

What the employer might think:
You don't care about the quality of your work and don't pay attention to details.

2. Never fill out application forms completely.

  • Make a few mistakes so you can correct them by scribbling out entire areas on the form.
  • Use your poorest handwriting or sloppiest printing.

What the employer might think:
You wouldn't be able to follow directions or complete written tasks.

3. Fold or crumple your resume or application.

  • Add a few food or beverage stains to let the employer know what you like to eat and drink.

What the employer might think:
You would be a sloppy, careless employee who doesn't care about the image you create of yourself or the company.

4. Use some relatives and friends as references.

  • Who knows you better than your mother?

What the employer might think:
You haven't been successful in your past jobs and have a hard time finding anyone to say good things about you.

How to create a negative impression at a job interview or meeting…

5. Choose clothing that is wrinkled, torn, dirty and stained.

What the employer might think:
You don't take care of your own possessions, so you may not show respect for an employer's property either.

6. Select clothes that the interviewer will really notice.

  • Don't worry if they don't fit well and make you uncomfortable.
  • Forget dull or conservative colors, get some bright colours and wild prints to make an impact.
  • If they tend to wrinkle or have static problems even better!
  • Males should wear casual shirts with pictures on the front.
    • Crude pictures or profanities are the best.
    • Wear running shoes, dirty if possible.
  • Females should apply lots of makeup and bright nail polish.
    • Select shorts or short skirts in sequined or velvet fabrics.
    • Wear either 4 inch heels or work boots.

What the employer might think:
How you look for your interview is how you'll look on-the-job. I don't want to hire someone who looks like they just rolled out of bed or they're on their way to a big date.

7. Look unkempt and messy.

  • Give yourself a few days before an interview to develop dirty hands and nails.
  • Head to the gym for a good workout just before the meeting to "strengthen" the impact you make.
  • Don't forget the little details: scuffed shoes, uncombed hair, bad breath, untrimmed or unshaven beard.

What the employer might think:
You don't care how you look and wouldn't represent my company well.

8. Let your body language speak for you.

  • Slouch, fidget, and don't look directly at the person you're speaking to.
  • Keep your hands in your mouth or use them to cover your face.

What the employer might think:
Gee, I expect some nervousness in an interview but this is pretty extreme! When you slouch I think you're not interested or worse - lazy. Your fidgeting also makes me think you're not comfortable with new situations. And when you won't look me in the eye, I wonder if you're really shy, dishonest or disrespectful.

9. Let the employer know you are no pushover.

  • Use a lot of slang and offensive words.
  • Try to be aggressive, conceited and overbearing.

What the employer might think:
You wouldn't get along with the public or with other employees.

10. Show the employer the real you. Let him see your bad habits.

  • Arrive late for the interview.
  • Chew gum loudly.
  • Light up a smoke if you feel like it.

What the employer might think:
You are inconsiderate and rude.

11. If you think life stinks, let the employer know this up front.

  • Don't hide your gloom or hostility about the future or job outlook.
  • Talk trash about your past employers.
  • Explain your personal problems in detail.

What the employer might think:
When I hear negative remarks about past employers, I don't think you'll be loyal to me and I wonder if you'll get along with others. I also think your personal problems will interfere with your ability to concentrate at work.

12. Arrive knowing nothing about the job or employer.

  • Never bring an extra copy of your resume.
  • Never prepare questions for the interviewer.

What the employer might think:
You're unprepared, disorganized, not keen about employment and willing to do only the minimum amount of work.

13. Grill the employer about the benefits.

  • How much time off, holidays, and sick time can you get?
  • What other benefits are there?

What the employer might think:
Time off interests you more than the job you're applying for.

14. Don't explain answers or provide details.

  • Never ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.

What the employer might think:
Either you have something to hide or have poor communication skills. You are likely to make mistakes rather than ask for directions.

15. Forget the contents of your application and resume once it's on paper.

  • If the employer wants to know the details, she can read.

What the employer might think:
You didn't prepare your own resume/application or you haven't been truthful.

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