Some people are so focused on the grand prize of a job search — a job —t hat they fail to heed of some of the little details in the actual interviewing process that can make a lot of difference in whether they're hired or not.
Here are some things many people brush off but should pay more attention to:
1. When and how you use the resources of your current job.
Some people put their work number and work email on a resume. While this is convenient, it tells the prospective employer that you don't mind doing personal business on company time. So why would they want you working for their company?
2. You apply for one job at a time.
This is heartbreak waiting to happen. If you continuously put all your eggs in one basket, and you don't get the job, you're going to be continually disappointed. Having several irons in the fire keeps you mentally in the game. However, don't mass mail a general resume to everything you see. That will also backfire.
3. You take the job description as gospel.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of lazy hiring managers out there that will throw anything in a job description or will use an old job description without adapting it. If you feel like you meet some of the criteria, emphasize that in your resume or cover letter. Even if you lack xyz skills, the company may make an exception. However, if the job description stresses a certain skillset and indicates it's a requirement, then don't waste your time.
4. You don't send after-interview thank you notes
A couple of years ago, I wrote about writing a thank you note to an interviewer after an interview. That suggestion brought the reader wrath of hell down upon my shoulders, but I stand by it. I'm not saying you gush a long note in long-hand on your Hello Kitty! stationery. But a short note or email is polite and is something that also puts your name in the forefront of the interviewer's mind.
5. You don't follow up.
There is a fine line between following up on a job and stalking. I recommend a call or an email if you haven't heard anything by the time they indicated you would. It shows that you're interested. But don't leave voice mail messages and send email more than once.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.