8 Common Job-Hunting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
There are more than 11 million job openings across the US right now, giving jobseekers the upper hand for once.
That said, whether you’re applying for a part-time vacancy at your local store or comparing job salaries with six figures, it’s easy to slip into automatic pilot mode. And all too often, this can lead to committing some of the most common job-hunting mistakes around.
So, what kinds of errors should you avoid making to ensure you land that great new job? Let’s take a look!
1. Not Tailoring Your Resumé to Different Applications
One of the biggest mistakes people make is having a single version of their resumé despite applying for different types of jobs.
If the bulk of your work experience relates to cleaning, including this on your resumé when applying for housekeeping jobs is a good idea. Not so much, however, if you’re applying for a job at a publishing company. For that role, you might want to play up your part-time college library job and the American literature course you just finished instead.
Ideally, you should have several different versions of your resumé ready for jobs in different fields. And, even then, you may need to tweak them a little to ensure that they feel tailor-made for every new job opportunity you apply for.
2. Typos and Bad Grammar
As well as your resumé, applying for a job tends to involve a lot of written communication. From emails to covering letters to application forms, there’s a lot of scope for typos and bad grammar. But for a hiring manager, these kinds of glaring mistakes are more than enough to reconsider or flat-out deny your job application.
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Make sure to go through every piece of written communication with a fine-tooth comb. And if possible, enlist the help of a friend to proofread your resumé and any emails you send.
3. Using an Unprofessional Email Address
While we’re on the subject of sending emails to a prospective employee, an often overlooked element of any job-hunting strategy is the email address you use.
Sure, your [email protected] might be the account you use the most. But this kind of address is not going to fly when sending covering letters and job applications.
Instead, create a simple name-based account ([email protected]) for searching for jobs online. Make sure to link it to your smartphone too. This way, you won’t miss an interview invitation or any other important updates.
4. No Online Presence
While you’re busy searching for jobs online, don’t think that potential employers aren’t also searching for you.
Depending on the types of jobs you’re applying for, it could be a good idea to make your social media accounts private. But, the only thing worse than a hiring manager finding your photos of messy nights out is finding no online record of you at all.
At the very least, you should have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile with a professional-looking profile photo, at least 50 connections, and a few recommendations.
5. Only Applying to Job Postings
There’s no doubt that it’s a good idea to apply to open job postings. But if you limit yourself to current vacancies, you could be missing out on catching new job opportunities before they’re posted online.
Alongside these applications, try to be as proactive as possible in your job search. Make a list of companies you would like to work for and email their HR department to express an interest in the company and any future opportunities. Doing so shows them that you want to be a part of their long-term vision and aren’t just applying to every job you see.
6. Failing to Use Your Network
As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Searching for jobs online and even contacting the company directly will only get you so far. Developing a truly great job-hunting strategy also means talking to people with first-hand experience.
Using any existing connections you have can often help you obtain relevant information about hiring processes, new job opportunities, and more. Even if you don’t know anyone working at the particular company you’re applying to, talking to friends and family working in similar fields can help you get in touch with the right people.
And, if you don’t know anyone in your field, make sure to use LinkedIn and local networking events to build new connections.
7. Being Disorganized
We get it. Searching for jobs online and sending off your resumé several times a day can feel like a job in itself. But that’s no excuse for a second-rate job-hunting strategy.
Lack of organization could mean sending your resumé to the same place twice or missing the application deadline altogether. Or, you might even find yourself being invited for an interview for a position you can’t even remember!
To avoid these kinds of slip-ups, create a spreadsheet detailing each position and company you apply to, the date you applied, and any information about responses and interview dates.
8. Not Doing Your Research Before an Interview
When you get an interview, don’t think that you can rock up on the day without preparing anything beforehand. As well as practicing your responses to typical interview questions, interviewers will expect you to have done your research on the company.
Reading up on your prospective employer’s mission and values is the least you can do before an interview. Not only will this make it easier to answer questions about why you want to work for them, but it’ll also show that you’re serious about the role and the company.
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Common Job-Hunting Mistakes
Hiring managers might be under a lot of pressure to fill the millions of vacancies out there right now. But they’re not going to be able to overlook these common job-hunting mistakes.
Once you step up your strategy, however, you’re sure to get their attention for all the right reasons – as well as that job you were hoping for!
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