This economy favors the employer. There are many more people looking for jobs than there are jobs that are available. Employers have applications from so many qualified candidates that they must find reasons to reject them. Then, they will have a manageable number of candidates left to invite for interviews. Even as these employers interview the few remaining candidates, these candidates may be so evenly matched that these employers still might be looking for reasons to reject all of the candidates except for one.
Unfortunately, those just entering the job market can get into bad habits while in high school or while in college. During the high school years, parents often put up with behaviors that an employer will not tolerate. Because students pay to attend colleges, the college staff members treat students more permissively than potential employers or eventual employers someday will treat them. Examples of behaviors not helpful to job applicants include:
- A Facebook comment that the job candidate was “wasted” at a party, and a picture of him or her in Facebook to prove it.
- An unprofessional voice mail greeting.
- An unprofessional email address.
- An unprofessional cell phone call sound.
- Poor table manners at a restaurant before, during, or after an interview.
- Tattoos that are highly visible and unprofessional looking.
- Rude behavior such as cutting across a lawn before or after an interview.
- Dangerous behavior such as racing a car across a parking lot before or after the interview.
- Unprofessional behavior such as treating the potential employer’s receptionist with a lack of respect.
A careless lack of planning also can cause job candidates to sabotage their job interviews. Examples include:
- Being late for the job interview because of a traffic jam.
- Parking in a time limited space and being distracted during the job interview because of anxiety over a possible parking ticket.
- Not using the restroom just before the job interview and being distracted by the need to visit the restroom.
- Having the job interview interrupted by the candidate’s cell phone.
Entry level job candidates sometimes value their spontaneity, freedom of expression, and individuality so much that they resist becoming more controlled, tactful, and conforming. In this bad job market, the result of such attitudes can be unemployment or underemployment.
Those who cannot conform to traditional job expectations might consider starting their own small businesses. Then, they can be their own bosses.