Are You Too Risky to Hire?
Are You Too Risky to Hire?

Are you giving off the wrong signals and unknowingly decreasing your chances for landing the job?

Despite the booming economy some candidates have trouble getting in the door. Why is that? Perhaps because they seem too risky to hire. Hiring managers are looking for qualified candidates who can add value. As much as possible, they want to avoid those who cause problems, and who can blame them? Releasing a troublemaker is challenging, costly and time-consuming.

Here are three red flags that may be preventing you from making the final cut.

Appearing desperate, needy or over-eager. What does this look like? Applying for multiple and varied jobs within the same company in a matter of weeks giving the impression that you will take anything. Fawning over the interviewer and appearing over-eager in pre-screening or job interviews.  Sharing information about your financial situation during interviews or otherwise conveying a need to find a job, any job, fast.

What to do instead? If applying for more than one job at a company, make sure the jobs are similar and a good match for your skills. Avoid flattering the interviewer and focus instead on selling your expertise and value.  Being too eager may cause the hiring manager to question your credentials or wonder what’s wrong with you. And, finally, do not share information that is not relevant, doing so only reinforces the idea that hiring you may not be a good idea.

Presenting a shaky or disjointed background.

Does your résumé paint you as a job hopper or someone who can’t seem to figure out what he wants to be? Does the short-term nature of your jobs suggest someone with a drug or alcohol problem? 

One way to get around these issues is to look for ways to unify your experience. For example, identify skills that are common to all or several of the positions. Highlight these in a “skills” section on your résumé. Consider writing a functional résumé highlighting specific skills and accomplishments first and your job history second. This will shift the focus from the short-term nature of your jobs to your qualifications.

If you have been fired or have a history of drug or alcohol addiction do not mention it unless asked. When it does come up share what you learned from the experience and what you will do differently in the future. Then, discuss why your qualifications make you a great fit for the job.

Badgering or appearing to stalk the hiring manager. This may take of the form of repeated phone calls to follow up or excessive emails requesting updates or information. Of course, you should follow up but not more than three times in 10 days. When you follow up watch your tone. Do you sound irritated or angry? That is unlikely to help your cause or encourage the person to get in touch with you.  It is much more likely to result in being eliminated from consideration.

As important as it is to you to get a job, remember, the hiring manager is juggling a variety of priorities. Be patient and know she will get back to you when she can.  Landing the job always takes longer than you think, triple your time estimate and you will probably be on target.