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7 Job Application Deal-Breakers, According To 5 Experienced Recruiters

Want to score that job? Keep in mind your attitude speaks volumes
by Justine Punzalan | Mar 27, 2018
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According to a recent Entrepreneur Philippines article, 2018 marks a boom in both job openings and in the job seeking market in the Philippines. This means that although opportunities are vast, the competition among applicants has grown tougher.

If you are one of those employees actively seeking for new work or employer this year, there's reason to be encouraged. The race may put you up against other equally skilled candidates, but an impressive attitude can always keep you ahead of everyone else.

Recruiters stand by the belief that in hiring new employees, character always trumps talent. It's a quality that can help an individual reach his/her potential in the workplace. In order to prove that you have it, you need to make a good first impression. This entails not rubbing the interviewer the wrong way. Sometimes, all it takes for you to lose out is a small mistake. 

To help you avoid making a fool of yourself when the opportunity arrives, here's a list of application pet peeves that five Human Resources Executives revealed to .

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Social media picture attached on resume

Your resume is your first step in landing a seat in the company you’re eyeing. Make sure to put your best foot forward by keeping it clean and formal—your ID picture included. Talent Acquisition Officer Thea recalls: “There was a time when an applicant attached a whole body picture in the size of a 2x2 image. I couldn't even see her face!”

Here's the proper way of going about it:

-Try sending in your resume without a photo. Pictures subject an applicant to bias and discrimination from the recruiter. Placing one on your resume is not a must, unless you’re a model or actor.
-If you want to submit a photo, make sure it looks professional. Wear corporate attire and choose a plain background. Refrain from attaching a graduation picture if you are not a fresh graduate. Rule of thumb is to keep it updated.

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Resumes that are poorly written

Recruiters want to know only one thing about you: If you are fit for the job. Hence, your resume should give them just that. Filter what you share—this can either make or break the decision.

“Besides receiving resumes with Facebook profile pictures, there are always those with too much personal data and information unrelated to the job,” says Gwen, Learning & Development and Talent Acquisition Manager of a top international beverage company.

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She recommends: “Ensure that your resume only states information relevant to the position you are applying for. Tell us, briefly and honestly, your skills and experiences that will help you succeed in the responsibilities that will be entrusted to you.”

Paul, Recruitment Manager of a multinational tech conglomerate, also offers advice: “Whether on the resume or during an interview, candidates should give concrete examples of them doing what they say they do. Are you hardworking? Great! Then, tell me when and how you've shown this in the past. What happened? What were the results? I need examples.”

A 'yes' to the invitation, but a no-show on the interview

In the corporate world, time is money. If you won’t be showing up for an interview, be professional and a true gentleman by informing the recruiter. It saves everyone time and effort.

Jela, who has been working as a Human Resources Partner for six years, shares that no-show candidates are her pet peeve. Being turned down by them is part of her daily routine.

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Thea adds, “Some even send an e-mail the following day, asking for a reschedule. These applicants should be professional enough to advise us of their decisions. We have schedules to meet, too.”


Asking about compensation before and during the initial interview

Each interview is an avenue for marketing yourself, your skills, and the improvements you can contribute to the company. And just like a real salesman, you should lay out all your unique selling propositions before naming your price. 

Gwen explains, “This applies to the person I just referred for an opening. He hasn’t even progressed to the interview yet, but already keeps asking about the compensation. It just shows that the person is heavily motivated by money. It’s not wrong, but definitely a turnoff.”

Her advice: “Job seekers should focus on the role they are applying for and gauge if this is something they want. Compensation and benefits should come after. They should show the recruiter that they have the passion for the role instead of just thinking of what they take home.”

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Showing too much emotion or confidence

As much as serving as a way to know your expertise and experiences, recruiters use interviews to test your ability to act under pressure. Being emotional or overconfident will push you off their list fast.

Jela can attest to that with an unforgettable incident at work: “An applicant once cried in front of me, begging me to hire her. That in itself, is a no-no. And as much as I want to help her, I cannot risk my job and the company. I referred her instead to a friend in another organization.”

For Thea, it’s the case of a hot-headed candidate: “He was so rude that he stood up from his seat, and blurted that I don’t like him and it seems like I’m having a bad day." She continues: “Applicants, keep in mind that your recruiters are just doing their jobs. It’s nothing personal, It will never be personal.”

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It was a brash interviewee for Eco, Managing Director of TalentPH: “’I have the skills for the job. I am confident and a fast learner,’ the candidate kept saying over and over again. He sealed off the interview and his application by asking, ‘When are you going to hire me?’"

Shocked by his arrogance, Eco replied: "Honestly, I won’t. You did not meet the minimum requirement for this position. Here’s your resume. Use it for another company.”

Gents, learn to keep your cool by following these tips shared by

-Research, plan, and rehearse.
-Think of the interview as a conversation. Think friend, not foe.
-Eliminate the unknown. Focus on your strengths and purpose.

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Asking for a salary with an unreasonable increase from their previous pay

Although many job seekers do not admit it, recruiters know that financial growth is one of the top reasons these applicants are looking for a new employer. There is nothing wrong with it. But If you really want to step up, make sure your desired salary increase is reasonable and realistic.

Paul recalls, “I had a candidate whose current salary was P55,000. His asking was P120K, non-negotiable. His main reason was, it was what he was able to research.”

The tech conglomerate Recruitment Manager explains the right thing to do: “When you conduct research, please make sure that the source is credible. Recruiters are knowledgeable of the current market rate of certain positions in certain industries. Usual acceptable increase is around 30 percent of your current pay. Demanding for 100 percent pay hike, like this applicant, is unrealistic. Unless of course, the company is trying to pirate you and is willing to double your pay.”

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Constant follow-ups

Thank-you notes and follow-up e-mails are a good way to keep yourself within the company’s radar, but think about the right way to do it. Thank-you notes should be sent within the day of your interview, or the next. If you want to know if you got the job, ask at least two weeks after. Give your contact person ample time to respond.

Gwen has encountered a lot of these constant follow-ups. She explains, “Although it shows that you are eager to get the job, it's important to know that the final decision lies with the hiring manager. Be patient. The recruiter will contact you if there is any news.”

It’s best to ask about the company’s hiring timelines during your interview, too. This will give you a clear view of where you stand or when to ask for updates. There are also companies that take as long as 60 days to finish the whole recruitment process. Just keep calm, suit up, and remember to start everything with a good impression.

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