You’ve heard all the do’s and don’ts – whether the advice is from a parent, friend, or an online source. Everyone has a suggestion, so I thought I’d throw in what have become some big pet peeves for me.

As the Office Manager for Nigro & Nigro the past ten years, I’ve read hundreds of resumés, seen countless applicants come in to test, and met the few that are chosen to come in and interview. Listed below are those that stand out (whether good or bad!):

  • Keep your resumé short. Anything longer than a page and a half most likely won’t get read.
  • Check your spelling! I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen spelling and grammar errors on a resumé and/or cover letter. This will disqualify you really quick!
  • Personal preference – send your resumé in Adobe format, not Word. Adobe has a more professional appearance.
  • Include a cover letter – this is your opportunity to introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the job position. This shows the personal side of you, and I have found cover letters on many occasions making a difference in whether they are called in or not.
  • Don’t bring a friend or parent (or really anyone for that matter) when you come to the office. Even if you need someone to drive you to your appointment, ask them to stay in the car or have them go to a local coffee shop until you’re done. Bringing someone along just screams to us that you are not ready to handle the real world on your own.
  • Dress professionally. I’ve seen it all – unkept/messy hair, shorts, stains on shirts, jeans (big no no!), too much perfume, etc. Even if you’re just coming in to test and not interview, dress to impress. (P.S. – Men, check your collars/ties before arriving – a lot of the women here will want to fix it!)
  • Be polite with the administrative assistant. She is the first person you make an impression with – we constantly consult with ours for her opinion.
  • Sound excited when we call you! There are numerous times when we call an applicant and it sounds like they just woke up. Are you not excited that we called asking you to participate in our hiring process? Even if you did just wake up, a little enthusiasm makes a huge difference!
  • Try not to reschedule. We understand that life happens and sometimes it can’t be avoided. But we recently had someone reschedule 3 times due to car trouble each time. I firmly believe that if she wanted the job, she could ask a friend, family member, or even Uber to bring her to our office.

Applying for a job at an accounting firm is always a stressful and uncertain time, but hopefully avoiding these pet peeves will help increase your chances on getting noticed and maybe even hired. Good luck!

Written by Jennifer C., Office Manager