April 8, 2013 at 10:25 AM ET
Don’t be a phony
If some dude doesn’t own a TV and you’re addicted to the “Real Housewives,” you wouldn’t pretend to, um, read books just to land a date, would you? Same goes for a potential employer. If a company hearts meetings and you think they’re unproductive and time-sucking (I once said that in an interview), you’re not a good fit. Although you might think you need to “fake it till you make it,” being honest and direct about your opinions may help you avoid career heartache down the line.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Ok, I’m sure HR folks would argue with this, but cover letters don’t matter. They’re kind of like a first message to a guy. You could write a sonnet incorporating all of his “6 things he can’t live without,” but, in the end, isn’t he just going look at your photos and call it a day? You can make yourself sound like the most perfect candidate ever and nail the signature (“Best”? “Regards”? “xoxo”?), but it’s your resume that gets scrutinized line by line. Take note: Spelling and grammar still count—not knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” is a universal deal breaker.
They’re just not that into you
Single ladies rule the world (Beyonce says so), while available men are seemingly few and far between. And thanks to an unbelievably high unemployment rate, so are jobs, which means an awesome interview and stellar credentials won’t produce an automatic offer letter. Unfortunately, someone cheaper and better qualified may have walked through the door. So, send the requisite follow-up email and if you hear crickets, don’t take it personally.
Google is your BFF
Admit it, you’re Dick Tracy when it comes to investigating a new guy. With just an ounce of info and a browser, you can suss out his deepest, darkest secrets. So put those Internet-sleuthing skills to good use and research a potential employer before an interview to impress them with your in-depth knowledge of the company and what they do.
The One vs. Just for right now
Okay, so it’s not your dream job, but that doesn’t mean you should blow off a perfectly fine position in hopes that something better may come along. Accept the gig, learn from it and move on. When you do, just tell ‘em, “it’s not you, it’s me.”
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.