A CEO explains 2 costly mistakes job seekers make

Laptop working from homeShutterstockDo you have your dragon-slaying stories at the ready?

The job search process is stressful and complex — it oftentimes makes us feel like the world is against us, and we can be quick to blame our failed attempts on the recruiting process.

Most of the time, however, we’re the ones to blame for not landing the job interview or position.

“Job-seekers don’t help themselves when they fail to take the time to put their best foot forward in a well-written, thoughtful outreach for a job they’re interested in,” writes Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace, in a recent LinkedIn post.

To help navigate the complicated and evolving job search process, Ryan shared five common and catastrophic mistakes committed by job seekers, and how to avoid them.

Here are two of our favourites:

1. Sending out the same résumé.

“You have to customise your résumé to showcase your stories and experiences that are most relevant to the specific job you’re applying for,” explains Ryan.

This does not mean starting from scratch each time you apply for a job — the core components of your résumé can remain, but several aspects of it should be tweaked and altered depending on what job you’re applying for.

“You’ll change the summary at the top of your résumé every time you apply for a job, to make it clear to your hiring manager that although you’re good at lots of things, at this moment in time you’re conveying your expertise in one area in particular — the one your manager is most likely to care about,” writes Ryan.

2. Forgetting about ‘business pain.’

“Business pain is the key to a 2015 job search,” says Ryan. Inevitably, every manager has ‘pain’ or challenges to overcome within their company, and as a job seeker, you have to understand what that pain looks like, and then offer solutions on how to alleviate it.

Ryan suggests having your “dragon-slaying stories” — the times you faced, and dominated, a particularly challenging problem — prepared when reaching out to hiring managers. “Develop your Dragon-Slaying Story list,” advises Ryan, “and focus on Pain rather than the bullet points in a job ad or your own done-to-death list of Skills!”

Read the full LinkedIn post here.

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