Ask a Coach

Q: I've finished writing my resume and editing it. Is there anything last minute I need to do before pressing "submit?"

A: Congratulations on finishing your resume! That's an accomplishment, and hopefully all your hard work will land you on the Best Qualified List and you'll be selected for an interview. Before you submit your resume, there is one more thing you should do. It is critical you proofread your resume.

Proofreading is a step that some people forget. You work so hard making sure you include all of your relevant and tailored experience in the resume, incorporating keywords and key phrases when you can, that making sure you use the correct spelling and grammar might not be on your mind. Why is this so important? It shows the resume reviewer that you care about attention to detail. Misspelling words, using the wrong homophone and not capitalizing proper nouns are red flags to Human Resource departments. Spending that extra time with your resume might be the difference in making the Best Qualified List.

5 Things to Avoid Saying at an Interview

Although many people think they know how to act during job interviews, even seasoned professionals can make mistakes during interviews. Being late or ill-prepared for an interview will hinder that first impression, but even outwardly innocent comments can hurt your chances to land the job. These five statements can kill your chances of getting a follow-up interview.

1) I'm Keeping My Options Open

Nothing can prevent a job seeker from landing a position more than letting the hiring manager know they are always looking for the next opportunity. No employer wants to know that you are looking for the next best thing and could leave the company at the drop of a hat. The "always looking" comment is a surefire way to turn hiring managers off.

2) Is Overtime Required?

Nobody wants to work sixty hours a week, but it's not the type of question you should be asking the minute you sit down to an interview. Of course you want to make sure the job works with your outside obligations, but you should learn about the company and make a good impression before making an inquiry about work/life balance. It's better to save that kind of question for after you've been offered the position.

3) Outside of work, I...

It's true that you want your genuine self to come out during the interview; however, refrain from oversharing personal information, even innocent things. It's unprofessional to reveal things about yourself that have nothing whatsoever to do with the job. Not only that — once you reveal personal or family information to the employer, they might consider that information while making their hiring decision. Your potential employer cares about what you can do for them and if you will be a good fit for the company and they don't need that personal information to make their decision.

4) Knock, Knock...

During behavioral interviews candidates are asked to give examples of past performance but often they use this opportunity to try and impress the interviewer with stories or try to sway the interviewer with their wit. Don't try to be funny or cute and definitely don't use sarcasm during an interview. You want to connect and to smile during the interview, but save having fun for after you've gotten the job.

5) My Last Boss? The Worst!

Even if you had the worst boss on the planet, never use your job interview as a session to bash your previous employer no matter how tempting it may be. When you do, you hurt your ability to get called back for a second interview, even if everything you said is accurate. The interviewer might be your future boss and will wonder if you'll be thinking the same things about them while you're on the job.

Remember, focus on presenting yourself as the best candidate possible by staying professional.