"How will my business make money if no one wants to pay?"
<strong>Harass the employer. </strong> Oftentimes, job seekers are impatient and really want to know if or when a decision will be made. While it can be a frustrating waiting game, it’s never okay to harass a potential employer. Avoid making multiple calls, sending numerous e-mails, or visiting their office without an invitation. Also, be careful about using social networking sites to keep up with your potential employer. It can seem invasive and inappropriate if you comment on every status and retweet every insight from their Twitter feed. No one wants to feel like they are being stalked, regardless of how qualified you may be. Simply send one follow-up e-mail or letter after each interview thanking an employer for the opportunity. If they say you’ll be hearing from them by a certain date, feel free to call and/or send an e-mail three to five days after that date if you haven’t heard anything.
<strong>Lie to the employer.</strong> With unemployment rates at a significant high, many are tempted to enhance or exaggerate their experience in an effort to appear more qualified. But, misrepresentation of awarded degrees, previous employments, acquired skills, or salary history is a risk that many can’t afford to take. Since most companies conduct thorough background checks, degree confirmations, and employment verifications, they are certain to learn about falsified dates of employment, embellished salaries, and falsified degrees. Similarly, it’s not a good idea to state that you have skills that you really don’t have. If hired, employers will quickly learn that you are not proficient in Excel, bilingual, or capable of multitasking efficiently. Just be honest and the best <i>you</i> you can be.
<strong>Bring up salary too soon.</strong> Anyone seeking a new job always has the same thought in the back of their mind: “<a title="What will my salary be?" href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/25/want-to-earn-a-mans-salary-negotiate-like-him/"><strong>What will my salary be</strong></a>?” Though salary is very important, it is usually one of the last things discussed during the hiring process. There are rare instances when salary is discussed early on. As a rule of thumb, never discuss salary during a first interview unless the interviewer brings it up first. The topic of salary becomes more acceptable during subsequent interviews, but should still be addressed with caution. If the employer asks you about your salary requirements, it’s certainly ok to give a range or a minimum. Be prepared with a reasonable range and also <a title="to negotiate when the time comes" href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/25/want-to-earn-a-mans-salary-negotiate-like-him/"><strong>to negotiate when the time comes</strong></a> for salary and benefits talks.
<strong>Present a list of unrealistic demands.</strong> One of the worst things you can do is give your potential employer a list of things that you won’t do or must have. It’s never a good idea to come off incapable or cocky when meeting with a potential boss. Smart professionals are always willing to learn and try new things. If nothing else, the added skill makes you more marketable and enhances your resume. It’s equally bad to sound off a list of requirements before you’re even hired. Demanding a corner office, an expense account, or personal driver might be quite ambitious for one who hasn’t even received an offer letter. It’s best to remain humble and appreciative while being considered for a role. Once you’ve been offered the job and are settled in the role, you’ll be in a better position to <a title="make reasonable requests" href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/27/negotiating-two-job-offers/"><strong>make reasonable requests</strong></a>.
<strong>Do you have any career advancement or job seeking issues you'd like addressed? E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. <i>Aisha Taylor (@realTAYLORmade) is co-owner and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, a Web-based, full-service career consulting company committed to “equipping, preparing, and empowering today’s professional” globally. Check out her weekly insights on job-seeking and interviewing success every Friday on BlackEnterprise.com.</i>