7 dumb things you’re doing that make you less hireable

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to get every job and promotion they go after while others can send out 150 resumes and not get one single interview?

What do those first people have that the others don’t? Skills and qualifications, maybe. But they are also probably socially savvy and engaged with the world in a way that makes them appealing to others — which includes both employers and that great big global network of people who can connect them to employers.

The others may be doing things that can have the opposite effect, and turn people off hiring and recommending them. Is this you?

Here are six things you might be doing that are making you less hireable.

Staying home

I get it. I hate going out. I want to stay home too. But if you want to get ahead in your career you have to leave the house sometimes. Social media is great for making connections and getting to know people. Meeting them in person can be even better. Many jobs are gotten through personal connections, and the more people you know the better chance you have of moving ahead. Go to events, get out of the house, talk to people. Crazy, I know. But it works.

Being a jerk on social media

Think twice before you post that “hilarious” meme making fun of someone who is “stupid.” There are a lot of people out there who don’t appreciate humour at the expense of others. And then there are those who might disagree with your loud opinion that people who support this politician or believe in that religion are “***holes” and “idiots.” I see this sort of thing all the time and it leaves me baffled. Also, avoid getting into heated discussions and arguments and snarking at people. You never know who’s watching.

Ignoring your LinkedIn profile

If you’re actively job hunting or even just passively hoping to advance your career, keep your LinkedIn up to date. It’s often the first place employers will go after looking at your resume and cover letter. And if it’s not up to date they might just move on. It’s also where people who are just browsing for connections will look – you want to put your best self forward on LinkedIn and make sure it reflects all of your up-to-date accomplishments.

Talking too much

Most of us talk too much sometimes. I tend to do it in situations where I’m afraid of awkward silences. But people who talk too much are annoying, and when we do it we forget to listen. Sometimes someone is taking a breath and gathering their thoughts, and we miss the chance to let them speak. Sometimes people politely try to look super interested in what we’re saying but that doesn’t always mean they actually are interested. Be sure to stop talking and let others speak at least 50% of the time, if not more.

Not asking questions

People like to be asked about themselves and the things that interest them and, in my experience, most of them are pretty interesting. You just have to ask the right questions to find what really gets them going. And the more you show an interest in others and the things they like to talk about, the more they will like you. And you know who people recommend for jobs? The people they like. Showing a genuine interest in people opens up a world of possibilities.

Wasting time on unimportant things

The people I know who are the most successful in life and in their careers are not those who spend their evenings endlessly watching Netflix and scrolling social media. They’re the ones who are interested in learning, connecting, and discovering. They read books, take classes, join groups, volunteer and are generally engaged with the world around them. It’s OK to spend some downtime doing nothing. But you will be much more interesting to people if you’re engaged with life and spending time productively.

Sending the same resume for every job posting

Always tailor your resume for every job to which you apply. Don’t just tailor your cover letter; there’s a good chance nobody is ever going to read the cover letter (though you should still send one, in case someone does). Change your resume headline to match the job title, highlight the experience that is relevant to that position, note any related accomplishments, and use the appropriate keywords. Remember that, in many cases, a bot is going to read your resume before a human does. A one-size-fits-all resume isn’t as likely to get you the job as a tailored one.

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