The ball pops out of the shortstop’s glove, even though it went straight at him. “Oh, he bobbled it,” the sportscaster calls. It’s not a career-ender, but it may get the runner on, and maybe that runner will score. In the end, the bobble may be costly. Job search bobbles are small and may fall under the radar. But, they can be costly, so try to avoid them:
Presentation counts. Mickey Mouse dress socks peek from under a candidate’s slacks as he sits down. The candidate doesn’t get the job, as the employer interprets his choice of socks as a lapse in professional judgment. (True story, and this happened at the meeting when my hiring manager was going to make this candidate an offer!)
Timing is everything. Get to your interview fifteen minutes early. There may be forms to fill out. There may be security hurdles to clear in the lobby reception. There may be a slow elevator. All three apply to just one employer for whom I recruited.
Choose your words wisely. Your word processing program only catches words that are completely misspelled. It won’t catch words that are out-of-context. If a salesperson does “meat” clients, perhaps she should be a butcher. Even the most vulgar trader probably doesn’t work in “pubic” finance. There may be a “Colombia” University in Bogota, but not in New York.
In short, be conservative. Dress in proper business attire. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. Proofread all of your correspondence. Bobbles are only funny on the highlight reel.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine helps people find fulfilling jobs and careers, as the co-founder of SixFigureStart®, career coaching by former Fortune 500 recruiters. As a former executive search and corporate recruiter for over 10 years, Caroline has hired thousands of people for leading companies in financial services, consulting, media, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, and technology. She is also the co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and others) of the best-selling “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” 2010; Two Harbors Press.