30 Jan Rules to Remember when Looking for a Job


  1. Smile.  On the phone, when typing your emails, and when you arrive at the interview.  People like happy people.
  2. If you are phoning to book an interview or ask for an email address, have a pen and paper handy BEFORE you make the call.
  3. Treat EVERY interview like it is the most important interview ever, or you will not get to the next round of interviews.
  4. When you send an email from your phone, don’t forget that it will be read on a computer.
  5. Your CV is an indication of the pride you take in your work and should be the best piece of work you produce.  If you cannot take the time to type, proofread and save it, what will you produce when you get the job?
  6. No recruiter has ever short listed someone for an interview purely based on their hobbies… Recruiters are interested in your skills and experience.  Focus your CV on what you have to offer.
  7. Showing off your WordArt and ClipArt skills on your CV will probably not impress anyone.
  8. Answering “Not Applicable” (n/a) to a relevant question, or deleting it, will not go unnoticed.
  9. Everyone says that they are a fast learner.
  10. When asked about salary, answer with Gross or Cost to Company, not what arrives in your bank account at the end of the month.
  11. No one cares what salary you need to live the lifestyle you want.  They care about what your skills and experience are worth, and what their budget allows them to pay.
  12. Good old-fashioned manners count for a lot.
  13. First impressions are made the minute the interviewer sees you (and whoever you bring along to the interview) and last long after you have left.  This means that the loud music, smoking in the parking lot, kids crying in the car, and playing on your cell phone in reception remain fast in the recruiter’s mind.
  14. If you smell strongly of cigarette smoke (because you had a quick one before the interview or your driver did), no one will believe that you are a ‘social smoker’.
  15. Never arrive more than 15 minutes early for an interview.
  16. Shake hands firmly and make eye contact.
  17. Dress to impress.  Jeans, shorts, slops and evening attire are not appropriate.  This is the best you will ever dress if you get the job, because you are supposed to be trying to impress.
  18. Don’t forget that you are in a job interview! Not a therapy session, not a date, not a chat with a friend…
  19. Switch your cell phone OFF.  Your phone vibrating in your bag or on the table is just as bad as if it rang.
  20. Save any controversial topics (criminal or ITC records, dismissals, holiday or study commitments) to the end of the interview, after you have “sold yourself” for the job.  Don’t close the door before its even open by leading with the negative.
  21. Do not focus on the reasons that have driven you to look for a job. Rather focus on your skills, achievements and what you have to offer the company. You will only be employed on the latter.
  22. Your lies will always come out in the end. Always.
  23.  Looking for a job is a “stats game”.  The more you apply, the more chances you have of getting an interview.  The more interviews you attend, the more chance you have of getting an offer of employment.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and don’t expect to get the first job you apply for.
  24. Unsuccessful applications can be positive, in that they provide an opportunity for growth. If you ask for feedback, use it.  Sometimes things happen for a reason!
  25. If it seems too good to be true… it generally is.
  26. Walking out on a company without notice, in order to be available immediately, is an indication of how you will treat the company interviewing you when it is time for you to leave them.
  27. Put your most recent job first on your CV.
  28. If you want feedback, ask for it.
  29. If you want to be remembered, remind people that you are still looking.
  30. Landing that dream job, is your dream!  Act like it and own it!  You can’t apply for a job or go for an interview, and then expect someone else to care more about your dream than you do.