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    Tech-Job Search Advice That Doesn’t Go Out of Style

    Tech-Job Search Advice That Doesn’t Go Out of Style

    In many ways, the job search has changed. People no longer check the want ads in the Sunday paper or have an objective on their resume. These days, people post their work history on LinkedIn or a personal website and upload their qualifications to multiple employers in a snap.


    But in some ways, searching for a job is the same as it ever was. We recently spoke with the career coaching team at StartWorkNow and asked them for the job search advice that doesn’t go out of style. Here’s what they said.


    Tech-Job Search Advice That Never Go Out of Style-

    1. Cover Letters Are Still a Thing

    With few exceptions, you should include a cover letter with your application. But don’t use the same cover letter every time! Take the time to customize your cover letter (and resume) to explain why you’re applying to that specific role at that specific company. Recruiters can tell when all you’re changing is the name of the position and company.


    What’s more, as Denise Ingledue-Lopez points out, cover letters are an opportunity to explain why the hiring manager should hire you over other candidates. “Cover letters complement your resume and are an opportunity for you to showcase your personality and why you’re applying for this role at this company.”


    She continues, “It also highlights your communication skills and gives you the chance to address anything you think might stand in your way of getting the job, like a gap in your resume or changing careers.”


    1. Prioritize Your Tasks

    There’s so much to do during a job search: update your resume, track and log where you’ve applied and who you need to follow up with, and growing your network.

    It can be overwhelming.

    To help you stay organized, you need a plan. Specifically, a job search action plan. Outlining your goals at 30, 60, and 90 days can help you break down those goals into smaller, more manageable steps. These smaller tasks can help you prioritize what you have to, what you’ve done, and keep track of your wins!


    1. Time Management Skills

    Speaking of prioritizing your tasks, another piece of job search advice that never goes out of style is time management.


    “Having a game plan and setting priorities keeps your job search focused,” says Tracy Capozzoli. And this game plan will keep you from falling down a social media procrastination rabbit hole and help you identify when you’re spending too much time on job search activities that aren’t working.


    1. Network

    While technology has made searching for jobs easier and more accessible, it’s also made it more competitive. When you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of people applying for one job, you need to find a way to set your application apart from the rest of the pack.


    Some people may resort to tricks or stunts, but often, a better choice is using your network. Your contact may know someone who has an opening that’s perfect for you or can connect you with someone who has some advice about your job search.


    The same technology that’s made your job search efficient can also be used in networking. From LinkedIn to virtual job fairs and other events, networking is a valuable tool that can take your job search to the next level.


    1. Multigenerational Communication

    It doesn’t matter if you work 100% remote, 100% in-person, or somewhere in between. You may have as many as five generations in your workplace! And even if that doesn’t describe where you work, professional courtesy and respect never go out of style!


    “Written communication always has and always will be important in the workplace,” says Heather Starr. “When you’re working with someone from another generation, it’s important to keep things professional and courteous. Make sure your communications are crisp and clear, and consider avoiding abbreviations and emojis that work in a casual context but not a professional one.”


    1. Send a Thank-You Note

    Saying “thank you” never goes out of style, even when you’re job searching.


    “The concept of sending thank-you notes after an interview has not changed,” notes Ingledue-Lopez. “Not only is it courteous, it helps keep your name in the recruiter’s mind. It could also be the deciding factor on who gets the job and who doesn’t.”


    1. Keep It Simple

    There are tons of beautiful resume templates that you can choose from. And the best choice is…none of them! Use a simple resume format to ensure the ATS can read it correctly.


    Skip the columns and graphics. These often confuse the ATS and make it less likely your resume will get a high rank. Stick with plain fonts that are easy for an ATS and human to read. Not sure what resume format is best for you? Here’s a guide to help you figure it out!


    1. Manage Your Personal Brand

    You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in the age of social media and viral moments, that’s never been more true—especially when it comes to your job search.


    Your first impression starts seconds after your application is submitted. Hiring managers often research candidates on social media to vet them, and if your personal brand has any red flags, you may not get the job.


    Take some time before your job search to do a little tidying up. Delete posts that may paint you in a negative light, and consider untagging yourself from photos. Or, set your current profiles to private!


    Not Quite the Same

    Not only is this job search advice always in style, it’s perfect for every generation of job seekers. You’ll use these timeless bits of wisdom from the day you search for your first job until you retire!

    The survey found that 12% more millennials have discussed salary with coworkers than Generation X. Specifically, only 35% of Gen Xers have talked about salary, while almost 53% of millennials did.


    Millennials were also more willing to negotiate their salary or ask for a raise. While approximately one-quarter of Gen Xers (24%) said they felt more empowered and tried to negotiate salary, 43% of millennials felt the same way.


    It looks like this is one place where things are changing!


    The More Things Change…

    If there’s one way to sum up job searching in the 21st century, it could be “some things change, and some things stay the same.” And when it comes to these 10 bits of expert advice, some aspects of your job search are as classic, retro, and timeless as ever!

    How to Avoid Work-from-Home Job Scams

    How to Avoid Work-from-Home Job Scams When it comes to finding a remote job, many people are concerned about being scammed. And for good reason, from re-shipping scams to asking job seekers to pay for a federal job, scammers are getting craftier. It’s for this reason that avoiding remote job scams can seem like a tall task.

    How to Avoid Work-from-Home Job Scams

    When it comes to finding a remote job, many people are concerned about being scammed. And for good reason, from re-shipping scams to asking job seekers to pay for a federal job, scammers are getting craftier. It’s for this reason that avoiding remote job scams can seem like a tall task.


    One of the reasons StartWorkNow was created was to provide a safe, trusted way for people to find legitimate remote and flexible jobs, without having to worry about the junk and scams.


    If you use StartWorkNow for your job search, you can be assured that all the opportunities on our site have been screened by a real person and are completely scam-free.


    Our recent annual survey found that more than 80% of job seekers report being on guard or very concerned about scams on other job boards. According to the same survey, almost 20% of job seekers have been a victim of a job scam (up from 13% in 2016), with 22% of job seekers knowing somebody who has been victim of a job scam.

    Listings can be rife with scams and savvy scammers know how much people want to make money from home. They impersonate recruiters, potential bosses, and hiring managers in order to scam job seekers out of personal financial information—and in the worst-case scenario, their life savings.


    That said, 15% of survey respondents have avoided being scammed because they knew the warning signs. Knowing the warning signs of online job scams is important, but remember that StartWorkNows’ in-house team of experts carefully vets through openings so you don’t have to.

    Trust Your Gut If a Job Feels Scammy

    As with most situations in life, one of the single best ways to avoid a job scam is to listen to your instincts.


    That can be hard if you’ve been out of work for a while and a plum position seems to fall smack dab into your lap. But think about the job and how you were approached in an objective light.


    The ability to work from home would be a dream come true for many people and because of the value people place on this way of working, scammers are able to take advantage of folks who want to find this type of job.


    If something just feels off, or you feel uncomfortable for any reason (e.g., the job recruiter is pushy or demanding, or you don’t have a clear understanding of the job responsibilities), don’t think twice about walking away from it.


    More than likely, your instincts are right. And remember, there are plenty of real online jobs out there to choose from. This won’t be your one and only opportunity to work remotely, so don’t feel intimidated or pressured into doing something you don’t feel comfortable with.

    Know the Signs of an Online Job Scam

    While job scammers have adapted their tactics over time, there are still some hard-and-fast warnings that a job is a scam. Here are some basic signs of a work-from-home job scam:


    • You’re asked for personal financial information—such as your social security number, your bank account, your home address and phone number, your date of birth, etc.—early on in the job interview process.
    • The job pays a lot of money for little work. After all, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.
    • The company boasts several rags-to-riches stories that showcase high-flying lifestyles.
    • The job posting mentions quick money, drastic income changes overnight, etc.
    • The job posting has glaring grammatical or spelling errors.
    • The product is supposedly endorsed by countless celebrities or public figures.
    • The job requires several up-front expenses from candidates.
    • Compensation is based on how many people you recruit.
    • A recruiter offers you the job immediately without verifying your work experience or doesn’t ask for references.

    In one of the latest remote work scams, the FTC reports that the operators of a work-from-home scheme used “misleading spam emails to lure consumers into buying work-from-home services.” These emails used fake news stories and fake celebrity endorsements to convince consumers to purchase. In total, the settlements with the operators of this scheme imposed an $11.3 million judgment.


    “Unfortunately, online job scams remain a troubling component of the work-from-home job market, even as the number of legitimate remote job opportunities continues to grow. It’s encouraging to see this settlement, but job seekers should not let their guard down—many, many more scams still exist,” said Reynolds.

    Consider the Keywords

    In general, be careful of certain keywords in posts. The following options (and variations) can be indicative of a work-from-home job scam:


    • Free work from home jobs
    • Quick money
    • Unlimited earning potential
    • Multi-level marketing
    • Envelope stuffing
    • Investment opportunities and seminars
    • Part-time jobs with full-time pay



     Research the Companies

    Let’s say a “recruiter” contacts you and wants you to apply for a job. They say that based on your skills and work experience, you’d be perfect for an open position.


    That doesn’t mean the job is legitimate (or the recruiter is who they claim to be). You should always do your due diligence on both the recruiter and the job. Conduct research to see if you can find out any info on the recruiter/hiring manager to determine if they are indeed a real person.


    The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission can be great resources to find and report online job scams. For instance, you can use the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker to review (and report!) job scams. You should be able to find a trail verifying the person and company and, if not, you may want to reconsider moving forward with the job process.


    Connect with the Company Directly

    A hiring manager might reach out to you with a potential job. They might offer all the details about the job but not the biggest one of all—the company hiring for the job. Although they might say they can’t disclose the company or they’ll lose the potential commission associated with placing you in the position, you should know for certain the name of the company you’re interviewing for.


    If the hiring manager won’t tell you, it could be a sign that you’re in the middle of a scam. So contact the company that you might be working for to verify that a) the job recruiter is working for them, and b) the job you’re applying for exists.


     Question the Communication

    The job interview process has evolved quite a bit over the years to keep up with changes in technology.


    Almost everything is done online, from job applications to interviews, which are happening more frequently via video conferencing, particularly for remote positions.


    That being said, there are still a few red flags when it comes to using technology for hire, and those are email or instant messaging. Any hiring manager or boss worth their salt is not going to conduct a job interview via instant message or email. Most often, you might be initially contacted by email, but after that, you should still have a phone or video interview—or both.


    Dodging Work-from-Home Job Scams

    It’s unlikely that job scammers will ever go away, but there are ways to protect yourself and avoid job scams. Using a reputable job search service like StartWorkNow can help you find a real online job faster, easier, and, most importantly, safer.


    We pre-screen every job and company before posting them to our site. Our trained research team weeds out both the obvious scams and the more sophisticated ones, along with commission-only jobs, low-quality positions, “business opportunities,” and other junk so our members are guaranteed a quality job search experience.


    Wherever else you might be searching, use caution and always consider the signs of a work-from-home job scam and stay safe and find legitimate, real online jobs!

    How to Build Your Freelance Career

    How to Build Your Freelance Career If being your own boss sounds appealing, a freelance career might be the right move for you. Before diving in, though, it’s essential to understand that when you’re building a freelance career, you’re building a business!

    How to Build Your Freelance Career

    If being your own boss sounds appealing, a freelance career might be the right move for you. Before diving in, though, it’s essential to understand that when you’re building a freelance career, you’re building a business!


    It takes planning, determination, and a lot of grit. But if you stick with it, freelancing can be a rewarding career that puts you in the driver’s seat.


    How to Build Your Freelance Career

    1. Start With Research

    Before you quit your job and update your LinkedIn profile, conduct some research to see if you have a viable idea and to learn more about the nitty-gritty of being a freelancer.


    Do some market research to see if you have a viable service that people are willing to pay for. Talk to freelancers who do what you want to do to determine if there are enough people out there to pay for your services.


    Then, talk to freelancers inside and outside of your area to better understand what it takes to be a full-time freelancer. How do they keep track of income and expenses, so they’re ready to go come tax time? And how do they calculate and pay their taxes? How do they find and keep clients? Consider also talking to an accountant or lawyer to ensure you don’t make any costly or legal mistakes.


    1. Take It for a Test-Drive

    Before plunging headfirst into full-time freelancing, consider starting part-time. If nothing else, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to replace your full-time income right off the bat. Keeping a steady job while you launch your freelance career can help you maintain a stable income and save up while building a client base.


    The other advantage to starting part-time is that you may discover you don’t like full-time freelancing! Being the boss and setting your hours sounds glamorous. But filing quarterly taxes and figuring out depreciation? Not so much, and you may decide that the freelancer life is not for you after all.


    1. Get a Freelance Mentor

    As you test the freelance waters, consider getting a freelance mentor. This is is a successful freelancer who can help guide you on your journey. They know what it takes to make freelance life work and can provide you with guidance and advice when you get stuck along the way. And a freelance mentor can give you the encouragement and pep talk you might need when you’re ready to throw in the towel.


    1. Get Organized

    If you’ve never been particularly organized, now is the perfect time to change that. Whatever system or systems you use to manage things, find what works and stick with it. Spreadsheets, binders, file folders, whatever it is, make sure you have a way to keep track of everything from invoices to upcoming networking events to leads you need to follow up with.


    This helps you stay on top of what’s outstanding and what you need to follow up on, as well as help you track your progress and be ready come tax time.


    1. Create Your Personal Brand

    While you’re building your client base, you’ll need to provide proof that you’ve got the skills to get the job done. Even after you have a steady client stream, you’ll likely still need examples of your abilities. One of the best ways to do this is by building your personal brand and creating a portfolio of your accomplishments.


    Depending on your field, you may need to set up a personal website. This is a great place to include links or samples of your work and have former clients share testimonials about you.


    But a personal website may not be the best choice for everyone. In that case, consider using LinkedIn as your base of operations. You can also feature client recommendations and endorsements while adding links to outside media to give examples of your abilities. And because LinkedIn is a social networking platform, you can also write posts that help demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field.


    1. Network

    No matter what you do or the field you do it in, freelancer life includes a lot of networking. To make your transition to freelancing a little easier, start building a network of contacts before you make the leap.


    Make a list of all the people who might have work for you or know someone who needs your services. Set a goal of meeting with at least one or two people each week for coffee or other informal meetings. Even if you don’t discuss business, you’ll keep yourself top-of-mind when projects come up, and these meetings may result in introductions that can help you find work.


    1. Prepare Your Finances

    A big part of freelancing is setting your rate. You don’t want to go so high that you price yourself out of the market, but you also don’t want to undersell yourself.


    Talk to other freelancers in your field and ask what their rates are and how they came to that decision. Was it based on experience? The market? Likewise, talk to people who’ve hired freelancers and ask what they felt a fair pay rate was. From there, you can start setting a rate that takes your experience into account while also letting you earn a profit.


    In addition to setting your rate, though, you need to protect yourself. Set up some boilerplate contracts so you’re ready to go when you start landing clients. Make sure the contract outlines the specifics, like when milestone payments are due and what happens if the client doesn’t pay (or you are unable to deliver).


    1.  Be Patient

    Patience is perhaps the most important virtue a freelancer can possess, especially in the first year. If you can, it’s a good idea to build up your emergency savings in the year or two leading up to the launch of your business. This way, you’ll have some cash to fall back on in your first couple of months or even years, in case things aren’t as profitable as you’d hoped.


    1. Set Goals to Measure Progress

    Without goals, you can’t gauge how your freelance business is growing. Having one great month or year is fantastic, but the goal of any good business should be to grow year after year.


    While setting a profit goal is one way to measure growth, it’s not the only way. Consider other metrics to measure how you’re doing in addition to revenue, like how many clients you want to add or how many new projects you want to take on every month or even year.


    Tracking other metrics in addition to profit can help motivate you and give you insight into what parts of your business are working and what might need to change.


    Take the Plunge

    To learn more about freelancer life, check out our Guide to Freelancing. And when you’re ready to start your freelance career, StartWorkNow has your back! Our database of job openings also includes an extensive selection of freelance jobs!


    Take the tour and learn how StartWorkNow can level up your freelance career!

    How to Deal with a Toxic Remote Coworker

    How to Deal with a Toxic Remote Coworker Many people fall into the trap of thinking that working remotely means working alone. But that’s hardly ever the case. While you might not be one desk over from your team members, you still need to communicate and collaborate effectively—and that becomes all the more challenging when you’re dealing with a toxic coworker.

    How to Deal with a Toxic Remote Coworker

    Many people fall into the trap of thinking that working remotely means working alone. But that’s hardly ever the case. While you might not be one desk over from your team members, you still need to communicate and collaborate effectively—and that becomes all the more challenging when you’re dealing with a toxic coworker.


    What can you do when one of your colleagues is dragging you down? When you’re unable to have an in-person conversation, what’s the best way to address that behavior? Perhaps even more importantly, should you even handle the behavior in the first place?


    Toxic Coworker Behaviors

    Are you trying to determine if the behavior is simply a personality conflict? We’ve all had them, and it’s normal to have coworkers you wouldn’t necessarily want to spend your free afternoons with. Different perspectives and personalities help ensure teams are well-rounded. However, a toxic coworker is more than someone who doesn’t get your jokes. So, how do you differentiate?


    When determining if you’re being too sensitive, consider how you feel after interacting with someone you suspect is a toxic coworker. Are you constantly down afterward, feeling negative, hate your job, or drained of energy? Do they disrespect your input, make more insulting jokes than funny ones, and continually make it harder to complete your assignments?


    If you answered “yes,” you might have a coworker creating a toxic work environment. Take some time to analyze precisely why and how they’re sabotaging your work, as that will determine how you’ll deal with them.


    1.Stealing Credit for Your Work

    This person has no problem slapping their name on your work. Even when it’s apparent that you carried the load for a specific task or project, they gladly soak in every last bit of praise that’s unjustifiably offered to them.


    Don’t: Roll over and let that behavior slide. It can feel uncomfortable and braggy to call out your contributions and accomplishments, but remember that receiving the credit for the work you complete isn’t a benefit or a perk—it’s something you’re entitled to.


    Do: Assert yourself. Working remotely frequently means you’re out of sight and out of mind, which makes it that much more important to shine a spotlight on the excellent work you’re doing.


    For example, if your colleague begins taking ownership of your portion of a project in a team meeting during the next team call, gather your courage and chime in with your own two cents on the pieces you managed. Consider mentioning something like, “When I was contacting vendors for the event, I found that they were concerned about the marketing.”


    If the behavior continues, it’s probably time to talk with your coworker one-on-one about how you feel they have a habit of claiming credit for your work. If things still don’t improve following that confrontation, it’s time to approach your boss and express your concerns.


    Admittedly, this might feel awkward at first. But remember, if you don’t advocate for yourself, nobody will. And if you allow them to steal all the credit, you’re sabotaging your own professional growth plans and opportunities.


    2.Continually Putting You Down

    Now and then, you have the unfortunate luck of landing a coworker who insists on putting you down. You can barely get a word in before they shoot down your ideas, and they’re constantly issuing backhanded compliments that inspire a hefty amount of self-doubt.


    One of the intricacies revolving around remote work is that mannerisms and communication can be misconstrued when not face-to-face. Perhaps they don’t understand how aggressive they’re perceived.


    Don’t: Retaliate with insults. In these sorts of circumstances, it’s tempting to fight fire with fire or to give in to the temptation of being passive-aggressive. But mirroring your colleague’s inappropriate behavior won’t do you any favors.


    Do: Ask questions. Most of us are inclined to either retreat or be super aggressive when faced with disapproval or rudeness. However, the best reaction you can have is to ask clarifying questions.


    When that teammate immediately rejects one of your suggestions, ask thoughtful questions about what they didn’t like about it. If they tear your project down, ask what they think could’ve been improved.


    This will engage that colleague in (hopefully) a more productive conversation where you can determine whether they have valid concerns or simply enjoy knocking you down a few pegs. If they fall into that latter camp, it’ll be much more difficult for them to continue bullying you if you always remain levelheaded and never take the bait.


    Consider approaching your manager about a team training for conference call etiquette, and speak with HR about having a representative facilitate it.


    1. Creating Dysfunctional Office Politics

    There’s not a single secret or rumor that this colleague hasn’t blabbed. You’ve not only learned that you shouldn’t confide in this person, but also that you can’t place any weight in the things they report—almost all of it is exaggerated or falsified.


    Don’t: Be a willing participant. Office gossip is all too easy to get wrapped up in, but you’re better off staying as far away from it as possible.


    Do: Shut it down and then change the subject. Let’s give that teammate of yours the benefit of the doubt. Working remotely can be isolating, so perhaps they turn to gossip as a way of connecting with their colleagues.


    That doesn’t mean you should humor them, but know there’s a way you can redirect the conversation without seeming overly harsh or rude. The next time they attempt to engage you with any hearsay, state, “That’s none of my business, so I’d rather not talk about it.” Then, to smooth things over, immediately change the subject to focus on something related to that coworker, like, “Hey, how was your recent vacation?” or “How’s marathon training going?”


    That still gives your colleague a chance to chitchat and connect with you on a more personal level—without you needing to be dragged into any scandalous conversation.


    1. Perpetually Hating Their Job

    Everybody on your team recognizes how much negative energy this colleague brings to the table, virtual or not. The Zoom meeting is too long. Their remote day is too busy. The workload is too draining. It’s raining. They skipped lunch. Their head hurts. You can count the number of positive things this coworker has said on one hand—maybe even one finger.


    Don’t: Allow your mood to be tanked. It’s amazing how other people’s perspectives can alter our attitudes. Do your best to maintain a positive outlook and resist being dragged down by a toxic coworker.


    Do: Balance that energy. Life can get busy and stressful, which means your coworker might not even realize how negative they’re being regularly.


    The next time they chime in with a complaint, match it with your own positive remark. Suppose they complain that the meeting is too long? Respond by stating that at least you’ll be able to get a lot accomplished. If they whine about how busy they are, respond that having so many people trust them with tasks must mean they’re great at what they do. Consider empathizing and sharing a new task management system that’s helped you handle the workload.


    Hopefully, after only a few times of drawing their attention to the positives, your coworker will start to recognize the negative patterns in their behavior—and change them!


    1. Toxic Coworkers Aren’t Limited to the Office

    Working remotely doesn’t mean you’re immune to toxic coworkers. While you might not need to share a desk, they can still significantly impact your passion for your work. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept that toxicity. Put the above do’s into play (and avoid the don’ts!), and coping with that colleague can be much easier.


    If you’ve realized that it’s actually your work environment and not a single coworker that’s toxic, it might be time to start considering a new job. And StartWorkNow can help! Take the tour to learn how!

    10 Body Language Mistakes to Ditch For Your Interview

    10 Body Language Mistakes to Ditch For Your Interview Want to speak volumes to a hiring manager without saying a word? Be self-aware and avoid making common body language mistakes that can send the wrong message. Your body language is constantly communicating something during an interview, and it may not be positive.

    10 Body Language Mistakes to Ditch For Your Interview

    Want to speak volumes to a hiring manager without saying a word? Be self-aware and avoid making common body language mistakes that can send the wrong message. Your body language is constantly communicating something during an interview, and it may not be positive.


    “There are so many ways body language can either make you sink or soar during an interview,” said Kathryn M. Partan, principal at Partan Communications LLC. “The main idea here is to release your energy instead of keeping it trapped inside. When released, you’ll look and feel confident. When trapped, anxiety and nerves abound!”


    Your body language is one piece of your overall interview performance, and sometimes it can have an outsized impact. As humans, we’re naturally conditioned to pay attention to visuals. Making the most of your body language during your job interview can help you leave a great impression with a potential employer.


    Below we’re going over 10 body language mistakes you should ditch if you want to put your best foot forward during the job interview.


    10 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid During Interviews-

    1. Slumping

    Don’t give the impression that you’d like to curl up into a ball and be anywhere else! Instead, sit as if there’s a string tied from the top of your head to the ceiling. Similarly, watch your posture when standing. Push your shoulders back, keep your chin up, and stand with your feet slightly apart.


    1. Wandering Eyes

    Do your eyes dart around the room while listening and speaking? Are you guilty of looking at the ceiling or floor rather than people? Such actions make you appear apprehensive and distracted.


    “Make direct eye contact with your interviewer, both while listening and speaking,” Partan said. “You develop immediate rapport, and the interviewer will see you as a confident and competent candidate. Practice this by sharing a story with a friend without breaking eye contact.”


    1. Fiddling With Objects

    An interviewer who witnesses you playing with your jewelry, picking at your fingernails, or twirling your hair may assume you’re bored or impatient. Luckily, this is a body language mistake with an easy remedy. Simply eliminate the source, whether that means leaving your bracelets at home or pulling back your hair. Another trick is to press the fingertips of your hands together to form a church steeple. You’ll display confidence while keeping your nervous digits under control.


    1. Clenching

    Hang tight to a chair’s armrest or glue your hands to the desk’s edge, and you’ll run the risk of looking like a roller coaster rider having second thoughts. Such white-knuckle grips also can lead your pent-up energy to come out in other undesirable forms, such as toe-tapping or chair swiveling.


    A better choice is to use your hands to gesture while speaking to make answers more engaging. As Partan notes, “This makes you look open and interested and allows you to use your energy in a positive way.” Just make sure you don’t overdo it.


    1. Looking Unhappy

    A simple but often overlooked body language mistake is not looking happy to be there. Instantly up your approachability and trustworthiness by smiling. People are naturally drawn to a happy face, and the feel-good chemicals smiling releases into the body will help you stay calm and upbeat.


    “Smiling tells an employer so many things about you, but when we’re nervous, we naturally stop smiling. Practice answering interview questions while reminding yourself to smile. If you don’t smile sometimes during a job interview, it may wrongfully tell them you’re not a positive person, or you’re just not excited about the role or the company,” said Reynolds.


    1. Defensive or Aggressive Body Posture

    Crossing your arms across your chest. Leaning forward a bit too assertively. Invading the interviewer’s personal space. What do these gestures have in common? They all risk coming off as being too, shall we say, “in your face.”


    Probably the last thing you want in an interview is to indicate that you’re one to constantly question or challenge everything at every turn. So, rest your hands in your lap, on the arms of the chair, or anywhere that conveys a sense of calmness and an even-tempered disposition.


    1. Wild Hand or Arm Movements

    You may be super excited about the prospective job, but wild gestures with your hands or arms can seem, well, a bit wacky. Even though you’re enthusiastic, this can still be a body language mistake. But used sparingly and with precision, hand gestures can be a powerful way to make a point, or engage your interviewer in a moment of shared humor, frustration, or camaraderie related specifically to the discussion.


    “The last thing you want to do is distract an employer away from your answers, but using big gestures or talking a lot with your hands will do just that. Some movements and gestures are great and can add to your overall interview performance. But try not to go overboard, or the employer may stop listening to your words because they’re too distracted by your movements,” said Reynolds.


    1. Shrugging

    Shrugging isn’t a good look for any job seeker since it means that you might be indifferent or unhappy with what your interviewer is saying. But shrugging just one shoulder can also indicate that you’re lying, so be careful not to shrug—at all.


    1. Stiffness

    Of course, you’re nervous…it’s a job interview! Many people get a little stiff when nerves are getting the best of them. And of all the possible body language mistakes, this one is the least offensive. Being stiff automatically equates with nervousness, which hiring managers expect.


    But being too stiff can make you appear uncomfortable or unfriendly, so try to loosen up a little before your interview. Smiling as you’re talking is a great way to feel more relaxed!


    1. Sitting Directly in Front of Your Interviewer

    If you’re doing a phone or video interview, you don’t have to worry about where to sit. But when you enter an office for an in-person interview—and there are three chairs to choose from—you might not always know where to sit. A rule of thumb is to sit in the chair at a 45-degree angle from your interviewer’s chair. Being on an angle is more collegial and less combative, which can help make you both feel more comfortable.


    Speak Without Saying a Word

    Body language mistakes can hurt your chances of getting a job. So, study up on these tips to ace your next interview with positive body language that shows you’re the right candidate for the position!


    And if you want some expert feedback on your body language during an interview, consider scheduling a mock interview with a StartWorkNow career coach. You’ll get detailed, personalized feedback that will help you ace your job interviews! Schedule your appointment today!