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Surefire Screwups: How to Not Get a Job

resume, things to include in resume Credit: Resume image via Shutterstock

The quickest way for a job-seeker to turn off potential employers is by applying for a position for which they're clearly not qualified.

Research from online recruiting software provider Bullhorn shows that 30 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said their biggest turnoff was candidates who apply to jobs that are irrelevant to their experience, with more than 40 percent of those indicating they would go so far as to "blacklist" such candidates and suppress their names from future resume searches.

Other factors that the research shows negatively impacts a job-seeker's chance of landing new work include:

  • Exaggerating qualifications on their resume
  • Focusing on salary above all other job factors
  • Responding to a job posting that is way beyond their level of experience
  • Calling/emailing more than once a week for status updates

"Some job candidates have no idea how their own behaviors can be a total turnoff to the recruiters who are trying to help them," said Art Papas, founder and CEO of Bullhorn.

The study revealed that when it comes to choosing candidates with similar backgrounds and qualifications, 57 percent of recruiters would strongly consider a candidate's personality fit with the hiring company.

Other big differentiators include how well candidates present themselves in interviews, the companies where a candidate worked previously and being referred by a friend or colleague. Less than 4 percent of those surveyed said the school they attended helps differentiate between candidates.

The research found that hiring managers and recruiters don't look highly on job candidates who previously considered themselves self-employed. Nearly 50 percent of recruiters associate the title "self-employed" with being unemployed, while 42 percent think that "independent consultants" are actually unemployed as well.

For those searching for ways to make a good impression, Bullhorn's advice includes:

  • Don't Disguise Enthusiasm: Less than 5 percent of recruiters said that sounding and acting desperate to get a job was their No. 1 negative candidate behavior.
  • Don't Stress Social Media Ratings: Less than 7 percent of those surveyed consider candidates' Klout scores, which online, measures influence based on a user’s ability to engage and influence others, in deciding whether to pursue them as prospects.
  • Be Personable: When given a choice between someone who is socially awkward and inexpressive but has genius IQ and someone who is highly sociable and collaborative with an average IQ, nearly 95 percent of recruiters chose the latter.

The study was based on surveys of 1,500 staffing recruiters, corporate recruiters and hiring mangers.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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