Do's and Don't to a successful job interview

Do's

Do use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great online resource for allowing employers to view your skill as well as keeping up to date with your favorite companies and vacancies.


Do use a job search engine

Search engine sites allow users to search through all the major job sites, in one place, by keyword and location, at the same time. It can be great time effective way of searching regularly for what you're interested in.


Do write a customized cover letter or CV

This is a great way to make a good first impression on a prospective employer and to show that you're the man (or woman) for the job. Things to include are a contact section, a salutation, information on why you are writing, what you have to offer, how you will follow up, a closing and your signature.


Do save all the details of the job

Including the advert to your computer before applying. Once the closing date has gone you won't be able to access these online and they may be useful for preparing for an interview. Do read the application form thoroughly. E.g. don't ignore the 'Describe yourself' box and just upload a resume instead. Most recruiters will just put this in the bin as it demonstrates that you can't follow simple instructions.


Do keep it concise

If 'we' have 50 applications to read, we don't want to read 10 pages on each candidate. Also the more you write, the more buried the important parts will become in the waffle.


Do check for spelling and grammar

Get someone else to read it if you need to. It's baffling how many applications have simple mistakes in them and then go on to state that they have great attention to detail.

Don'ts

Don't write a story about your career history.

This is boring and unnecessary and only demonstrates your abilities as a story writer/waffler. Address the specific positions in a structures and to the point way.


Don't dress inappropriately for an interview

This is just as important as your CV or cover letter as it's the first visual impression they get of you. Before deciding what to wear, do your research. What sort of company is it? What sort of position are you applying for? See our 'What no to wear for an interview' tab at the top for more information.


Don't forget to start and finish with why you want the job

In the current job market there's a lot of choice for employers. Stand out and show them some passion for the role.


Don't write unemployed on application

Instead try 'Salesperson seeking opportunities' or something along those lines but more relevant to your position.


Don't write 'fired' as a reason for leaving a job

This not only makes you look bad, but also unreasonable as it looks as though you haven't learnt from your mistakes. Better options are 'let go' or 'not a good fit' and then be prepared to explain in a positive manner.


Don't use abbreviations

It doesn't make you cool. It makes you lazy.


Don't write 'see CV' in the employment history section

Firstly, again this looks lazy and shows a lack of enthusiasm. Secondly the employer wants to have your work history spelled out on the application so they can check your accuracy.


Don't use clichés

Remember that your potential employer will have read plenty of resumes and heard it all before. The classic "I'm an excellent listener", "I am an enthusiastic individual" and "I have the passion and drive" have been used to death and are more likely to make the reader switch off than make you stand out.


Don't show off your tattoos

Your tattoo may be a great representation of your creativity and personality but unless you're applying to work in a tattoo parlour it is irrelevant.