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10 small job-search steps that shouldn't be overlooked

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					How and why to sweat the small stuff
10 small job-search steps that shouldn't be overlooked


Sweating the small stuff can be the difference between landing a job and
remaining on the sidelines. But many people fail to realize that the
seemingly little things you do -- or don't do -- can make a big
impression on potential employers.

Here are 10 small steps you shouldn't overlook:

Bing: Don't make these interview mistakes

1. Cross your t's. You wouldn't think it's a huge deal to misplace an
apostrophe or confuse "effect" with "affect." After all, everyone makes
these types of mistakes. The truth is that a single résumé typo can knock
you out of contention. Regardless of the job you want, demonstrating
attention to detail is critical. Proofread diligently, run spell-check
and ask the biggest grammar geek you know to review your work.

2. Stick to the facts. Most people wouldn't dream of putting a boldfaced
lie in their application materials, but a pinch of résumé padding can't
hurt, right? Wrong. The tiniest of half-truths can prove costly if it's
discovered during a background and reference check, which more employers
are doing. Don't give a hiring manager any reason to question your
integrity.

3. Avoid ambiguity. Review your résumé and cover letter to make sure
you're presenting the clearest picture possible. Fuzzy phrases such as
"participated in" are red flags. That's because plenty of job hunters use
vague wording to obscure a lack of in-depth knowledge or experience in a
particular area. When describing your work history and expertise, be as
specific as possible.

4. Recognize when the job interview really starts. The evaluation process
begins the second you set foot on company grounds. Be friendly and
courteous to everyone you encounter; you never know who has the boss's
ear. For example, six out of 10 executives we polled said they consider
their assistant's opinion important when evaluating potential new hires.
Help your cause by displaying excellent etiquette and making small talk,
as appropriate.

5. Keep it real. While you should prepare for a job interview, you don't
want to come across as an overly rehearsed robot. Employers are looking
for insights into the real you, not a series of canned answers brimming
with clichéd buzzwords. What does "I optimize value-added solutions" mean
anyway?

Highlight your technical abilities and contributions to the bottom line,
but also share anecdotes emphasizing your ability to work well with
others. Cultural fit is a key consideration for employers.
6. Go with the flow. Take your conversational cues from the interviewer.
Some hiring managers are all business, while others enjoy a little
chitchat. Be adaptable and follow his lead.

7. Watch more than your words. It's not just what you say in an interview
but also how you say it. Showcase your confidence and engagement by
smiling, maintaining eye contact, projecting your voice and having good
posture. Nervously tapping your foot, rocking in your seat, slouching,
talking too fast and checking your watch can signal discomfort,
disinterest or both.

8. Name names. If a hiring manager takes you on a tour of the office and
introduces you to would-be colleagues, greet each individual with
enthusiasm. It's a great way to quickly establish rapport. Saying, "It's
so nice to meet you, Martin!" makes a far better impression than, "Hey
there." Plus, stating the person's name helps you commit it to memory.

9. Put pen to paper. Manners still matter. Send a thank-you note to the
hiring manager within a day or two of your interview. An email will
suffice, but there's nothing quite as classy as a handwritten card.
Express your appreciation for the opportunity, reassert your interest in
the job and recap your top selling points. Write a thank-you note to each
person you met with at length.

10. Help your references help you. Lining up the right professional
references is only half the battle. Touch base periodically to keep your
allies apprised of the jobs for which you're applying. If you know a
particular employer is likely to make contact, give your references a
heads up so they can prepare. Offer an updated copy of your résumé and
mention the skills and attributes the job requires. The more notice and
information you give your references, the more help they'll be.

				
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Description: 10 small job-search steps that shouldn't be overlooked