The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 7, 2013

Career Coach: Don't be a desperate job seeker

Acting desperate has never been an attractive quality in dating relationships, and it's certainly not attractive to potential employers, either. For job seekers — especially new graduates who haven't yet secured a position — emotions can run high and turn usually calm, collected candidates into needy, overeager individuals. It is that behavior that will keep them from landing a job.

I've had a handful of students over the years that fall into this group. Their resumes look fantastic. They pass the first-round interview, but they get to the second round and they just aren't getting the job. As you can imagine, they are very frustrated. When I talk to them and to the recruiters, there is a theme to why it's just not happening. Instead of being themselves and letting their talent and experience doing the selling, these candidates come across as too desperate for that job. They are doing things that turn off the recruiters, and they don't even realize it.

Here are some of the biggest turnoffs:

Hyper sales mode

Candidates can become so focused on selling themselves that they are just not listening to an interviewer's questions. They don't offer relevant information, or they are going off on tangents during the interview. They may even speak too loudly, too fast or just say too much. Some may begin using jargon — acronyms or tech speak, for example — but the terms may not even be relevant. They are just trying to impress recruiters.

Deviating from the script

Candidates may have spent a long time preparing for interviews and have their personal achievements and questions prepared to discuss. But in the interview situation, they stray from those points. Perhaps they exaggerate their achievements and try to go straight to "closing the deal." An interview should end with a candidate reinforcing their value proposition and interest in the job. Avoid being too direct or asking "Are you going to hire me?"

Text Only
  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

Business Video