When Going Above and Beyond Isn’t Best

When applying for a new job, it’s tempting to go “the extra mile” when trying to make yourself look impressive to potential employers. From beefing up your resume (perhaps a little too much) to showing up dressed to the nines for your first interview, we understand your need to go that extra mile when the pressure is high, and the need to go big or go home is real in the current competitive work force. However, there are times when going above and beyond isn’t actually beneficial to your job search, and can, in fact, be detrimental.
Consider these pointers when trying to figure out when you need to be a little “extra,” or when you should loosen the reins and take a more laid back approach to parts of your hiring process:
  • Tailor your resume to the job you want. Yes, including plenty of pertinent information is important when creating your resume, but including every detail of every activity you’ve done or every job you’ve held since middle school is not only over the top, but can actually turn off a potential employer or HR staff member. When preparing your resume for a job application, be sure to look at the desired educational background, skills, experience, and qualifications the employer is seeking, and then tailor your resume to fit. If the position requires leadership skills and will be a managerial-type role, it’s perfectly logical to include your past experience with serving in team leadership, managing projects at previous jobs, etc. However, if you are applying for a simple part-time secretarial job to make spare cash on the weekends, you can probably leave out the fact that you were Valedictorian in high school and volunteered at the animal shelter through college. Sometimes less is more.
  • Dress to impress…not to intimidate. Yes, we encourage applicants who work with PHR to dress professionally when heading to an interview, but that doesn’t always mean a business suit. Knowing where you are applying, which type of position you are interviewing for, and what type of attire is considered “normal” in the environment are key in preparing your outfit for an interview. Showing up for a warehouse position wearing a full suit might actually make you stand out in a bad way when the floor supervisor comes out to meet with you wearing jeans, boots, and a hard hat. You want to dress well within the scope of the job you seek, and sometimes that means doing a little digging to find out what other employees wear, and then go perhaps one step up from that for your interview. Is the typical dress jeans and work boots? A simple pair of khakis and a polo would work well to appear professional, without being off-putting.
  • Be confident, not arrogant. Employers like to see confidence when interviewing applicants, since this typically eludes to people skills, the ability to manage one’s work load well, and someone who will hold their own among other staff members. However, being overly confident could cost you a job. Never appear cocky or obnoxious when interacting with HR staff, interviewers, and/or other employees. This is best done by answering questions firmly, politely, and clearly, but not going on and on with answers, or appearing to “brag” in any way. Never interrupt the interviewer or attempt to talk over him/her. Again, less is more oftentimes.
While we know there are times that going the extra mile isn’t best during your job hunt, PHR Staffing Solutions guarantees that we ALWAYS go the extra mile for you. We work with clients throughout Lakeland, Winter Haven, and the surrounding areas to match applicants with companies seeking quality employees for a variety of time frames, from temp positions to long-term, full-time hires. We would love to help you, so give us a call, or learn more about us here on our site.