Being a hiring manager in the 21st century requires a skill set involving patience, foresight and domain experience. Also, the use of applicant tracking systems and hiring software is a must in order to navigate the sea of applicants at jobs across the board. Hiring managers have a lot on their plates, so if you want to know what drives these managers crazy, here is what your Newton team discovered. Hint: avoid these problematic areas if you want to get hired at your next prospective company.

It’s a good thing to be persistent, as that’s what finds you a job. However, hiring managers cannot stand it when a person is nagging with their aggressive follow-ups. Calling multiple times a week and emailing for the sole purpose of finding out if you’ll be interviewed is a waste of your time and diminishes your brand as an applicant. Follow up once or twice. If you don’t hear anything, move on. Most employers have an applicant tracking system that has presented your profile. It’s likely this hiring manager just doesn’t want to talk to you. Keep following up and hiring managers will likely ding you for behaving like Dwight Schrute.

These days hiring managers go to Google for unearthing the good, the bad and the ugly about potential new hires. Do you know how disappointed a hiring manager gets when they Google a job applicant and find pictures of them hanging off a balcony with a beer in one hand and joint in another? Seriously. Avoid having an online profile that is incomplete, inappropriate, or out of date. Keep up appearances both in person and online. Yes, this means you need to clean up your online photos, un-tag yourself from pictures that are inappropriate for the workplace.

Speaking of keeping up appearances, hiring managers everywhere compare their worst dressed applicants lists for a reason. Applicants arriving in club outfits, fishing gear and yoga pants top the list of Worst Dressed Applicants. If you are serious about getting a job, make sure you are dressed for success. Otherwise you are wasting the hiring manager’s, and your own, time. Another pet peeve? Getting dressed in the hiring manager’s office. Your shirt, your makeup and your shoes should be on before you walk in. Trust us. Appearance always matters.

That old saying from preschool, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason”, comes full circle as you are trying to get hired. Answer the question, provide an example if applicable and stop talking. Don’t risk turning a hiring manager off because you’re too nervous to be quiet. After all, the manager simply sees this as you are too nervous or chatty and may not perform well under pressure. A good rule should be, don’t suck the air out of the room.

Interview is a one to one event. If you can’t do the job of getting the job yourself, then it seems unlikely that you’ll be able to actually do the job alone. Don’t involve your parents, college professors, childhood best friends, or your significant other. It’s annoying and screams, “Not dependable and incapable.” You want to build up your personal brand on your own two feet. It’s up to you to show your abilities and to sell yourself—without someone else holding your hand. Oh, and hiring managers despise dealing with the Good Ole’ Boy Club, so don’t go there. Be your own person.


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