Are you looking for a job? We all know how hard it is to find employment lately, but while you may be putting forth your best effort, you may also be doing a few things to sabotage yourself. Many people make significant job search mistakes and never even know about it. Especially if your search is taking longer than you anticipated, you’re probably wondering where you went wrong.
If you’ve found your job search to take longer than you anticipated, there’s a chance you’re making some mistakes holding you back from landing a job. To help you find more clarity in your search, here are some solutions to turn it around for the best:
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You don’t tailor your application materials
Every job is different, meaning the materials you send need to be tailored to each employer individually. It does little good if you just send a generic resume or a cover letter that doesn’t appeal specifically to the organization or even mention how your skills match the role. Check out the job description, implement industry keywords and skills, and state your claim in each and every job application.
Lack of a Cover Letter
Cover letters matter. When the job market is this intense, not including a cover letter is a major mistake. Your letter gives you a chance to sell yourself and your resume to the employer.
71 % of hiring managers said they preferred a resume customised for the open position.
Ignore Your Online Presence
A strong, professional online presence can be a big plus when you’re looking for a job.
Lack of personal marketing plan
Think about what you want in your next job. Identify the type of position, industry and companies, geography, company size and corporate culture you are interested in. Then do some research to uncover which organizations best match the descriptions of your dream companies and market yourself directly to those companies whether they have an open position or not.
Relying on one strategy for all your job hunting
Searching for jobs in just one place is going to limit your success. For example, just looking at internet job boards will mean that you miss out on other opportunities. Instead you should diversify your efforts and look at a range of different places for jobs.
The sole purpose of networking is to seek advice and information. Networking is about relationships, and relationships are about give and take. The best networkers are listeners rather than talkers, have a clear agenda, and are not shy about asking for feedback and guidance. Look for a way to give back to your connections, and they’ll be much more likely to want to help you along your professional path.
Tip: As scary as it may sound, consider going to a networking event by yourself. This will force you to step outside of your comfort zone to talk with employers and make connections.
70% of all jobs are found through networking. Another survey revealed four in 10 job-seekers found their dream job through personal connections. – The Bureau of Labor Statistics
Posting your CV at hundreds of job sites
By posting your CV to hundreds of recruiters and employers you won’t be able to customize it for a specific employer. This strategy reduces your chances of being called and do not allow you to follow up with a phone call or an e-mail to establish contact and move your application forward in the process.
Ignoring your niche
Your niche might just be your secret weapon when it comes to networking effectively and gaining the job of your dreams. Too many people search for general networking events or career fairs to score a job. Instead, you should be diving into your niche industry to make the connections you need.
Missing opportunities on social media
The vast majority of employers and recruiters look at your profile online: LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media Websites. Leverage that opportunity and have your online presence tell a story.
Don’t go negative
Allowing negative self-talk, fears, and doubts to creep into one’s job search communications and activities, where they can easily turn off potential allies and damage one’s chances on the networking and interviewing circuit
Being unprepared for interviews
Anticipate the possible questions and rehearse the answers. Practice with someone to make sure your delivery is smooth, confident and on point.
Blowing the follow-up
What you do after the interview can help you land a job or get you scratched from the list. If you call or email repeatedly to check on your status, you will be viewed as a pest. But if you fail to follow up at all, you may appear to be uninterested. Better approach: After every interview, send a thank-you note –Use this opportunity to express your great interest in the job. Then, if you have heard nothing after a suitable interval, make one follow-up attempt (email or phone), again expressing your interest. After that, stop.
Focusing on your age
Don’t focus on your age while searching for a job. Age is rarely an indicator of someone’s ability, aptitude or even experience. New college graduates and younger professionals tend to worry about not having enough experience while older folks worry about looking overqualified for a position. Instead of focusing on your age, focus communicating to potential employers why you are the best candidate for the job.
Listening to fear and anxiety
Fear keeps you up at night and robs you of positive energy needed for your job search. Anxiety keeps you guessing what could happen next and invites self doubt. Don’t listen to fear, identify your top 10 accomplishments and focus on what makes you stand out in the marketplace. If anxiety is getting you down, talk about your concerns with others and listen for words of encouragement.
Failure to dress, act, and generally carry yourself in a way that will make a confident, positive impression on the people you encounter
It is imperative that you assess, reassess, tweak, and perfect your job search campaign dynamically. While you may not be able to control market dynamics, there are several areas that are absolutely within your direct control. You just never know when one little change might be all that’s needed to generate significantly more positive results in your efforts! Learn to avoid these mistakes and you’ll be ahead of the pack.
What are some common interview mistakes to avoid? What are some other scary job hunting mistakes?
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