Chances are at some point you have heard the proverb “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is a colloquialism that means that we shouldn’t get all upset about small things in life that don’t really matter and that only serve to aggravate us. There is even a book that has sold over 25 million copies to remind us of this. Often this phrase is very true; during the job search is not one of those times. Little things matter. It is what separates you from other applicants.
Email Address – Your email address is the first impression potential employers have of you. If your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, what impression will that make with potential employers? What does that say about you? Is that the message you want to convey? Use a dedicated professional email address (ideally Gmail or iCloud), preferably one that is your first and last name, exclusively for job searching.
Voice Mail Greeting – If a potential employer calls and your voice mail picks up, what do they hear? Do they hear a traditional voice mail greeting with your name clearly stated? Or do they hear a greeting that might be appropriate for your friends but not in the workplace? Is this the impression you want to channel?
Résumé Title – Often we title our résumé, on our PC, as simply JonsResume.doc or BasicResume.pdf. If your résumé is sitting in the email inbox of an HR Manager, how many résumés have the same name? Use your full name in the file name of your résumé so that if someone goes to look for it, there is no question as to who it belongs to.
Timeliness of Returning Phone Calls and Emails – We live in a very busy world. There are seemingly never enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished. One priority, however, is returning correspondence with potential employers in a timely fashion. If it takes three days to return a phone call or reply to an email, what impression does that leave with the potential hiring manager? It tells them that you’re not very interested in the position and they are going to move on. You should return phone calls and emails within 24 hours, sooner if possible.
Typos in your Résumé – It’s only one typo what’s the big deal? If your résumé states that you are retail-oriented, you’re going to have a difficult time convincing the employer that you are really detail-oriented. Let others proofread your résumé. Make sure it is error-free. Spell check doesn’t catch everything. Would you rather be a manager or a manger?
Texting with Recruiters – Texting has become commonplace in recruiting. While some job seekers resist the advancement in technology, others embrace it. When texting with recruiters, make sure you “speak” clearly, save the shorthand, acronyms, and emojis for your friends.
Social Media – Before engaging in a job search, tighten up your privacy settings and sanitize your profile for any content that someone may find controversial or position you in a bad light. Your drunken frat parties pictures may be fine for your friends, but Human Resources may not look upon them quite as favorably.
In the uber-competitiveness of the job search, use every tool in your arsenal to set yourself apart from the competition. Details matter!!