Dave Fecak, the founder and president of the Philadelphia Area Java Users’ Group, recently penned a column for Job Tips for Geeks in which he outlined eight reasons job candidates don’t end up getting the job besides a fundamental skill mismatch. While his blog centers on the software industry, the reasons he provides apply for jobseekers in all industries.
- Lack of depth in talent. While a diverse, “jack-of-all-trades” approach may work for some positions, hiring managers expect to see deeper skills in at least a few key proficiencies.
- Sense of entitlement. Companies are looking for team players, not candidates with a superiority complex. Individuals who express that they are only interested in doing specific tasks might similarly set off red flags.
- Lack of passion. “If a candidate has no passion for the business, the technology or the people, chances are the interview is a waste of time,” writes Fecak.
- Talking too much about coworkers’ accomplishments. You may think you’re being humble, but at best, this move indicates that you’re incapable of describing your own responsibilities and achievements at work. At worst, it sends a message that you may not be the most productive of your team.
- Lack of information. Hiring managers want to see that a candidate is curious about what his or her coworkers are doing. Insular responses, such as “I’m not sure how that worked,” or “I don’t know who built that,” suggest a lack of information.
- Misplaced focus. In some cases, candidates express more of an interest in working with a specific technology, person or company rather than being a great engineer or manager. Passion is great, but hiring managers are looking for the best candidate to work in a specific position.
- Lies on the resume. Avoid lying on your resume — it’s just poor form.
- Non-transferable experience. “If you have worked in the same company for many years without any fundamental changes in the development environment, this could be you,” explains Fecak. Such individuals, he continues, may have too steep of a learning curve if placed into a new environment with brand-new strategies, tools and coworkers.
Hiring managers, what tips would you add to those of Dave Fecak?
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