5 mistakes that could cost you a job offer

5 mistakes that could cost you a job offer

The future looks bright – you’ve just received a fabulous job offer and one which gives you a chance to rise to the top! 

You’re feeling good, but remember that it’s important not to get ahead of yourself.

You need to sign on the dotted line before you secure the role, until then it’s still uncertain and if your new employers has reason to question your behaviour, the offer could be retracted. Unfortunately that would mean it’s back to the job hunt for you.

Don’t risk letting a new job slip through your fingers - take note of the following mistakes might make an employer reconsider extending you a job offer.

1. Your alter ego emerges online

In today’s digital world, information can repopulate around the world before the blink of an eye.

To put it simply, don’t post anything on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform that you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see, such as derogatory language or social behaviour that would be deemed inappropriate.

A lack of discretion may not necessarily result in your employer withdrawing a job offer, but is likely to start you off on the wrong foot with a bad first impression.

2. You stretched the truth in your resume

An offer can only be made in good faith if you’ve represented yourself honestly.

It will reflect poorly on you if your potential employer does a little research only to discover discrepancies in your CV. A simple phone call during the reference check stage can reveal a lot about your background, so tread cautiously to ensure your personal brand message is not just consistent, but honest.

When in doubt, err on the side of integrity and don’t embellish the truth. You’ll find even the smallest lie will come back to bite you.

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3. You think too highly of yourself

Issuing ultimatums is more often seen as a sign of arrogance rather than a display of confidence. Most candidates are likely to take such a wrong step during negotiating a salary package when the job offer is on the table.

If you threaten to walk away unless your demands are met, don’t be surprised if no one stops you. While assertiveness and confidence are important traits for one’s career, they can leave you in the dust if you go overboard.

A non-combative, friendly demeanour when negotiating is the path for a true professional – and can see you accepting a job offer with little to worry about.

4. You are a naive negotiator

Doing your homework can pay off in both the short and long term, especially when negotiating what are your salary expectations.

Even if you skills are highly sought after, suggesting an unrealistic starting salary might prompt at employer to look for someone else. 

Before discussing remuneration, consult publications such as the Robert Half Salary Guide to research salary trends for people in your field with similar expertise.

Download our Salary Guide today

5. You don’t know what to say when

Pushing for things over and above your initial requests to test how far a hiring manager is willing to go can backfire on you. While flexible work arrangements and work-life balance are great boons to a job, pushing for these late during the job offer stage can see employers casting doubt over your seriousness towards the job. This can also be the case if you find yourself in disagreement over a reasonable remuneration package being offered.

Instead of getting more than you bargained for, you could end up with nothing. Let common sense prevail when negotiating - either quit while you’re ahead or respectfully request for a follow-up review/discussion after your probation period.

Treat a job offer like a job interview – professionalism at all times

Receiving a job offer is not an excuse to take your foot off the pedal. Even if the stars align with your resume and job interview going down well with your future employer, remember that being a professional at all times counts towards securing the job offer and career you’re looking for.

While these mistakes occur more often than many would care to admit, they can be avoided. Don’t let one of these mistakes cost you a job offer – take the time to prepare and present yourself with integrity.

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