The current job market is more competitive than ever and job seekers need to stand out from the crowd. "Many people make silly mistakes during a job search. These actions make it easy for the hiring manager to look at someone else," says business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of NewRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead (Prentice Hall Press). Here are some of her suggestions. Times staff writer
Don't forget to send thank-you notes. Sending notes after being interviewed is one of the ways that job seekers differentiate themselves from other applicants. Also remember to thank the people who have helped you in your search.
Don't dress inappropriately. After interviewing a number of people at a job fair, a consultant said she wouldn't hire any of them. All of the applicants were dressed too casually. None were dressed as if they were coming to work at her company.
Don't chew gum. A young man got upset that the interviewer asked him to get rid of his gum. He didn't get the job.
Don't have typos in your resume or cover letters. Typos show that you are not paying attention to the details. And why would someone hire you if you make mistakes? Always have someone proofread your documents.
Don't shake hands incorrectly. People make assumptions about others based on the quality of their handshake. Make sure your handshake is firm, but not bone-breaking.
Don't be nonchalant about the position. Be enthusiastic. Even if the job is not your first choice, you want to come across as someone who is interested in the position and the company.
Don't be unprepared for the questions. Anticipate the tough questions you may be asked during an interview and know how you will answer them.
Don't forget to use networking. People tell me that they got their jobs from people that they know, so let people know that you are looking. Build a network and look for ways to add people to it.
Don't give up. Even though thousands of jobs are still being lost each month, there are lots still available. If you keep looking, you will increase your chances of landing work.
Barbara Pachter is a speaker, coach and author of numerous business books.