Job search is hard work; it’s stressful and riddled with anxiety. Do not exacerbate it by letting highly charged emotions drive bad behavior when you’re looking for a new job. Reign in your anxiety: Manage it with exercise; a few hours spent with understanding and light-hearted friends; attendance at emotionally soothing venues; engagement in empowering job search strategy sessions; and such. By doing so, you can avoid the following examples of bad job search behavior (and you may even find a little joy along the way):
1. Lying on your resume. While a resume is a marketing piece and you do not have to disclose every detail and date of your career ‘history,’ you still mustn’t lie. For example, do not fudge dates or titles and do not exaggerate on sales and profit achievements.
2. Providing references without permission. If you are going to list a name of someone who can verify your credentials, tout your value and sing your praises, then ASK them for their consent to be a reference first. When your former colleague, boss or other business contact receives an unexpected phone call or email from a recruiter or human resource professional on your behalf, this sends immediate signals that you have not exercised proper professionalism and respect. Making an assumption that they will vouch for you is no excuse for lack of courtesy.
3. Scheduling an informational interview and then canceling at the last minute. Whomever you scheduled the informational interview with was willing to give you their valuable time and expertise and probably carved out time from an already busy schedule. If you cancel at the last minute, you prove to them that you do not value them or their time.
4. Scheduling and engaging in an informational interview and then never sending a proper follow-up thank you note. Sending a thank you note shows you respect and appreciate the fact that the person you met with took time out of his or her busy schedule to speak with you. See #3.