Imagine how many candidates are reviewed by recruiters and hiring managers annually. Now, imagine how many of them bring their biggest personality quirks and issues into the room. This happens at the resume and cover letter stage and most often in the interview meeting, if you got one.

Recruiters see their fair share of ill-prepared job seekers who make countless inexcusable mistakes. From the people who dress inappropriately for an interview (“Is a tee shirt ok?”) to those who show up late for an interview (“I’m usually not up this early.”), they’ve seen it all.

Beyond the interview no-shows, what really fries their Twinkies? The list is too long to share. Here are some of the most common mistakes that may guarantee that the opportunity is over before it started.

Missing Information

Whether on a resume, other materials, a voice mail or an email, be certain that you leave all necessary information. Many opportunities have been missed due to the lack of a return contact number, email address or the like.

Always provide your name, number and email address when leaving a message. Speak clearly and slowly. Sound enthusiastic, professional and be concise.

The hiring manager or recruiters are going 1000 miles an hour. They simply won’t stop to decipher your resume or slog through your incomplete LinkedIn profile.

Bring Your Pad, Any Pad

Whether you’re a yellow pad kind of person or have hit the new millennium with a tablet, bring something to take notes for any meeting.

You’ll want to show interest in the conversation, make notes for any follow-up messaging and appear to be prepared and organized while doing so. Showing up empty-handed shows little respect for your audience, the process they’re following and the value of it.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

‘Going to schoolprior to an interview to learn about the company is mandatory. With the Internet acting as your library, it’s easy to learn about company brands, products, team and recent news.

Don’t be caught looking when asked the oft-posed question, “What do you know about our company?” Worse yet is when the candidate turns the question around and asks what the interviewer can tell them instead.

Well You Didn’t Have to Be So Rude

At some point in the job seeking process, something may not go your way. It may be a critique of your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile or simply your answer to a question.

Your position is to maintain a positive attitude even when it seems that the other person is being overly critical or adversarial. They may be baiting you to see how you do under fire. Either way, try to take the words constructively.

Thank them for taking the time to help you and appear grateful for the opportunity. The world has shrunk so much today thanks in large part to social media. Failure to act accordingly may result in a lost opportunity down the line, when least expected.

Spelling Errors (Speling Errs)

Want a sure-fire way to make a reader decide to disregard your written content? It’s easy: simply misspell words within that content. Nothing smacks of a writer showing no respect for their readers than presenting them with work that hasn’t been proofread prior to sharing it.

Spelling errors on resumes and cover letters are perhaps the most common offense. To avoid these mistakes, use spell check, read your words aloud and have someone who can spell, review your documents. It shows an attention to detail that will transmit to how you’ll be perceived by the employer.

Is There Valet Parking There?

We’ve heard of this question being asked of a recruiter. Really? Here’s to hoping that the company’s CEO position is still available.

If you’re concerned about the logistics of getting to the meeting spot, plan. Use Google maps or any nav program to map out your route. Leave plenty of room for traffic. Get there early and practice some breathing exercises. Find convenient and safe parking places.

Finish your snack or drink without rushing. Check your appearance in the car window one last time. Go through your notes.

All of this is designed to allow you to present a poised, relaxed and prepared presence from the minute you walk in the door until you offer the final statement, “I’ll look for your call sharing next steps.”

Have you had a job interview where any of these issues came up? Are you still looking for a full time or part time job in your 60s? Please share any tips you may have about job interviewing.

Jeff HenningJeff Henning is a business leader and educator in Southern California. He is the father of 10 daughters. His expertise is in creating meaningful change within a business to drive results focused upon people, profits and planet. Jeff is the founder of Square Peg, an organization that recognizes the tremendous challenge Baby Boomers face while attempting to reinvent themselves in the new career landscape.

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