Looking for a job is some of the toughest work out there. Unreturned emails and an empty voicemail can leave a jobseeker disheartened and stressed out, especially when you’ve put in so much time and effort.
Maybe you’ve been used and abused by recruitment agencies that are only only out to earn their commissions. Perhaps you’re sick of being invisible among thousands of applications on sites like Seek or MyCareer.
You might think you’re doing everything right. Think again.
Here are the 8 worst mistakes you can make when job hunting:
- You’re not treating job hunting like an actual job.
Looking for work is a full-time job and you should treat it as such.
If you don’t put the time and effort in, someone else will. And that keen bean will likely swipe your dream role before you even know about it. Don’t slack off.
- You’re going for quantity over quality.
You can’t be an expert in everything. If you’re applying for jobs in an area that doesn’t suit your skill set or interests, you’ll probably be disappointed.
Look for compatible employers and job opportunities that will value the skills you have and help you build on them further.
- You shy away from hitting up your contacts
Effective networking doesn’t mean milking your contacts for all they’re worth. Instead, it’s a game of give and take.
Your contact may not immediately see the advantage from knowing you, but if he or she is smart, they will know that they can likely gain something from the relationship in the future.
They’ve been in your position before. So don’t be afraid to reach out!
- You’re underestimating your employer’s online detective skills
A potential employer may want to check out your web presence to check that you’re social media savvy.
Don’t put anything on your Facebook, Twitter or personal blog that you wouldn’t want to pop up in a quick Google search.
Your Facebook friends may ‘like’ that profile pic of you with a giant margarita, but your future boss probably won’t – double-check those privacy settings.
- You’ve got a hundred identical copies of one useless resume
If you’re sending in identical resumes for jobs in hospitality, marketing and babysitting, it’s likely none of them will stand out.
A recent study by American job site Careerbuilder.com found that 71% of hiring managers prefer a resume customized for the role in question.
It’s vital to cater your application to each specific job. Think about what skills are required, the culture of the company, and tailor your application to that.
- You’re afraid to show off and sell yourself
Your resume is nothing short of a marketing tool and the first impression you make.
You’re pitching yourself to potential employers and competing against several other people who may or may not be more skilled than you. You’ve got to convince employers you have what it takes.
If you can’t, and someone else can, guess who’s more likely to score the interview? You’re employers get that you need to sell yourself, so don’t be afraid to.
- You think you’ll be able to charm your interviewer even if you haven’t bothered to double-check their name.
You’d have to pretty brave if you think you can just waltz in and earn the admiration of the interviewer simply by quoting your resume to someone who has already read it.
You’re there to prove that you can contribute to the company. How can you do that when you don’t know the first thing about it?
Research, research, research! Get to know the company’s core values, goals and clients. Has it been in the news recently? Has it undergone any major changes?
Make it clear to your interviewer that you are interested in the work they do, whatever that may be.
- You’re too quick to give up.
Once you’ve been interviewed by the employer, be sure to thank them for their time, but also to follow up. Get an idea of the timeframe for the employer’s hiring decision so that you know when you can expect to hear from them.
This will help you plan when to follow up with a call or an email. In the mean time, get out there and keep asking around about opportunities.
The more people that know you’re looking for work, the better your chances.
Gen George is the CEO and founder of online job platform OneShift.
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