55 Do's and Don'ts About Your Job Search

Looking for a job? Here are 55 reminders of what to do and what not to do when interviewing, finding references, negotiating salary and using LinkedIn:

1.      Don’t leave your phone on during the interview. Do turn off or silence your cell phone.

2.      Don’t look down at the floor or up at the ceiling during the interview. Do give the employer eye contact.

3.      Don’t take a seat without being asked to do so. Do wait to be invited to sit down.

4.      Don’t answer the “tell me about yourself” question by including why you left your last job. Do answer the “tell me about yourself” question by focusing on your appropriate skills, experience and abilities.

5.      Don’t answer questions with just a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ without providing any additional clarity. Do answer questions by providing extensive clarity and demonstrating your knowledge through stories.

6.      Don’t just answer questions professionally but neglect to focus on the needs of the interviewer. Do answer questions with a focus on the needs of the interviewer.

7.      Don’t ask what the salary is as your only question. Do ask questions that allow you to gain greater insight into the job.

8.      Don’t allow the interview to end without asking “what are the next steps in the process?” Do ask what you can expect to happen from this point forward and when you can expect to hear.

9.      Don’t forget to ask for a business card to follow up. Do get a business card from everyone who interviewed you.

10.  Don’t reveal too much about the personal you as opposed to the professional you. Do focus your answers on the professional you as opposed to the personal you.

11.  Don’t assume that someone who agrees to give you a reference will provide a good one. Do confirm that the reference will be a positive one.

12.  Don’t make assumptions as to what your reference will tell the company. Do ask your references what they will say about you when someone calls.

13.  Don’t provide references of people that won’t have the time to return calls or respond to requests. Do make sure your references have the time to respond to potential employer inquiries.

14.  Don’t assume that contact information has remained the same. Do confirm that all contact information is up to date for your references including phone number, email, mailing address and current employer.

15.  Don’t assume your reference will keep you up-to-date if they hear from the company. Do ask your reference to keep you updated if they hear anything.

16.  Don’t assume your professional references have to be your direct supervisor, if you didn’t have the best relationship. Do know that your references can include former co-workers or senior management.

17.  Don’t give your reference information when initially submitting your resume. Do protect your reference information.

18.  Don’t think of references as an afterthought. Do spend the time picking the best people.

19.  Don’t assume your references will say something about you and not just confirm your dates of employment. Do make sure your references will say something about you.

20.  Don’t have a list of just the minimum number of references required, as some people may not be available when you need them. Do have three to five references ready at any time.

21.  Don’t neglect to thank your references. Do remember to say thank you to those who agree to serve as your references.

22.  Don’t forget to remind your references that you are continuing to use their names. Do check in from time to time with your references.

23.  Don’t neglect to contact your references when you expect that they’ll be hearing from a company soon. Do give your references a heads up that they should be expecting a call.

24.  Don’t think that you should be negotiating based on what you need. Do negotiate based on receiving the highest salary that the employer is willing to pay for that position.

25.  Don’t base your negotiations on your last salary. Do realize that for better or worse, it is not about your last salary.

26.  Don’t undervalue or overvalue yourself in the job market. Do have a sense of your ‘value’ in the current market place.

27.  Don’t enter negotiations without a sense of what the company might be willing to pay. Do understand that the company might have been willing to pay more but you asked for less.

28.  Don’t use only one or two resources in trying to determine your worth and what the company might be willing to pay. Do gather as much market information as you can to make a well executed salary negotiation plan.

29.  Don’t ask about the salary before the interview. If you ask at that point, it appears you are only interested in the money. Do wait as long as possible to discuss the salary.

30.  Don’t bring up salary expectations before you receive an offer. Do understand that you are in the best position to negotiate at the end of the process.

31.  Don’t fail to ask if the company is open to negotiation. Do understand that the first offer is just an initial proposal and they expect a counter offer.

32.  Don’t fail to have a particular range/figure in mind. Do be ready to counteroffer.

33.  Don’t forget to factor in benefits when considering an offer. Do keep in mind that benefits are a huge component of the salary package.

34.  Don’t assume that ‘health benefits’ means the same thing on every job. Do get an understanding of what health benefits means in that company as how much you have to pay in and what type of coverage you (and your family) receive can be a difference of several thousand dollars for you.

35.  Don’t forget to inquire if the benefit package is negotiable. Do ask if benefits are open to negotiation.

36.  Don’t give just a number for your salary expectations. Do give a salary when presenting your salary expectations.

37.  Don’t negotiate based on an hourly rate when the salary is for a fulltime position. Do give a salary range that includes yearly figures as opposed to hourly.

38.  Don’t just wait for something to just happen on LinkedIn, do be proactive and make it happen.

39.  Don’t be an Open Networker or LION on LinkedIn, do be selective in who you connect with.

40.  Don’t be a know-it-all in LinkedIn group discussions; do be humble while sharing your expertise.

41.  Don’t ignore status updates on LinkedIn, do be sure to check your colleagues’ status updates regularly.

42.  Don’t expect recommendations to just appear on your LinkedIn profile, do be proactive in requesting recommendations

43.  Don’t ignore others requests for help on LinkedIn, do respond to others and help when you can.

44.  Don’t make it difficult for others to contact you on LinkedIn; do make your contact information readily available.

45.  Don’t “invite all” when importing your contacts on LinkedIn, do be selective and choose who you know that you’d like to connect with.

46.  Don’t just join groups on LinkedIn, do be proactive and actively participate in conversations.

47.  Don’t add the same education and job in your profile multiple times on LinkedIn; do be careful in adding all relevant information to your profile.

48.  Don’t avoid posting status updates on LinkedIn, do post useful information you’d like to share in your status updates.

49.  Don’t forget to ask your network for help, do be proactive in asking your network for help.

50.  Don’t mix your professional and personal life on LinkedIn; do focus on the professional you when sharing information on LinkedIn.

51.  Don’t use a headline like “Job Seeker” or “In Transition” on LinkedIn; do use a LinkedIn headline with your professional title (i.e. Accountant) and unique skills.

52.  Don’t ignore your LinkedIn inbox; do check your LinkedIn email regularly.

53.  Don’t connect with everyone on LinkedIn; do focus on building actual relations and connections.

54.  Don’t use a blurry or unprofessional picture on LinkedIn; do use a professional, clear headshot in your profile picture.

55.  Don’t leave your LinkedIn profile incomplete; do take the time to fill in your whole profile including work history, education and summary.