The Don'ts of Applying for a Job

Human resources professionals tell you what they don't want to see from their applicants.

Don't be yourself
""Someone might tell you to 'Be yourself' in the interview. That's the worst advice ever. We don't want people who are neurotic and quirky and whatever else. All we care about is your skill and experience." -Laurie Ruettimann, HR consultant and speaker in Raleigh, N.C.

Don't send me strange things...a thank you note is fine.
"I once had someone send me Forget-me-not seeds with their thank you note. Yes, thank me for taking the time, that's great. But sending me seeds? That's weird." -Sharlyn Lauby, human resources consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"One time a candidate sent - I love this - a thank you card with a professional picture of herself, which quite honestly became the running joke for weeks. The picture was blown up and posted in my office with hearts drawn around it." -HR director at a financial services firm

PLUS: How to Stop Annoying People With Technology

Don't give away too much personal information
"Children and hobbies do not belong on a résumé. And never, ever say, 'Now that my kids are in college, I'm ready to get back in the workforce.' " -HR professional at a mid-sized firm in North Carolina

Don't get lazy
"It doesn't take 40 hours a week to look for a job. So if you're unemployed, do something: take classes, meet people, go to industry meetings, start a blog, read a book a week. Just don't sit on the couch and eat Doritos." -Ben Eubanks, HR professional in Alabama

Don't lie about your salary
"Ever. Even if your employer doesn't tell us (and most do), we'll find out eventually. I've terminated two people for doing that." -A human resources professional in New York City

PLUS: License to Snoop: Careers for Curious Types

Don't be cliché
"In interviews, everyone works well with others, and everyone learns quickly. Please tell me something else." -HR manager in St. Cloud, Minn.

Don't hold your breath
"If it's been a week or two and I tell you 'I don't have an update yet,' that often means there's a better candidate we're talking to, but we can't tell you that in case they decide not to take the job." -Recruiting consultant Rich DeMatteo. Philadelphia, Pa.

Plus: More Things HR Won't Tell You About Your Job

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