Mar 6, 2019

As hard as your job search is, it is possible that you make it more challenging than it has to be: you may simply neglect to take advantage of every opportunity available to you or actively make mistakes.

Whichever category your slip-ups may fall into, it is important to know the most common job search mistakes tend to be basic ones that are easy to steer clear of. You will help your case immensely if you manage to make a few simple changes, standing apart from the vast majority of candidates out there. 

1. Do not rely on outdated job seeking advice

The conventions of the job market have changed radically over the past decade. Yet, many career advice books, articles and videos continue to preach advice from the past that no longer applies. The idea that paper resumes are important, that you should use formal language in a resume and use overnight delivery to send your resumes out – all belong to another era. If you follow such ideas, you will label yourself as sadly out of touch.

2. A non-existent LinkedIn profile

More than ever before, LinkedIn, not advertisements on employment classifieds, is the environment where employers and employees find one another. As far as employers are concerned, a job seeker who does not have a profile on LinkedIn – with a professional headshot, a detailed, keyword-rich description and properly filled Experience, Languages, Certifications and Recommendations sections may as well not exist. A robust presence on the professional network is fundamental to any job search.  

3. Not tapping an alumni network

Your school’s alumni network can be a goldmine when it comes to job opportunities. You can directly utilize your school’s network or access it on LinkedIn. Using the name of your school can open many doors. Considering that many job-seekers do use their alumni connections, neglecting to take advantage can slow down your efforts. 

4. Not doing much at networking events

Networking events are an excellent way to expand your contacts. Building a contact is not simply about exchanging business cards with someone, though. It is about creating one-on-one relationships. If you neglect to work hard on gaining the interest of other attendees and building relationships that last past the event, you are not working hard enough.

5. Not joining every group possible

Memberships at trade organizations and the local Chamber of Commerce are mandatory for anyone looking for a job. The more you talk to the people you see at these places, the deeper the roots will be that you put in. 

6. A resume with the wrong focus

When looking for a new hire, employers tend to be interested not in qualifications or even experience, but in fresh ideas that address the problems they face. When they see your resume, they hope to find clues that will tell them exactly how you will be useful to them. Listing accomplishments that are relevant to the problems they have in mind is  the only way to impress them.  

7. Skipping the cover letter

A well-written cover letter that is customized to the specific job and company that you are applying to is a great way to grab the hiring manager’s attention: you get to offer information that is not in your resume. When you skip the cover letter, you throw away an opportunity to provide additional information that others do offer. It puts you at a disadvantage. 

8. Using gimmickry rather than real information to stand out

Job-seekers are known to do everything from sending cookies to hiring managers to trying to hack interviews by finding out about the interviewer’s political preferences. These tricks usually only serve to annoy, though. The only real way to stand out is to do one’s homework – studying the company, finding out what its problems are, and coming up with ways to make yourself relevant. 

9. Not building a good online persona

Just as people on online dating sites routinely Google every person who seems interesting before they even attempt to contact them, hiring managers like to gather information before sending out interview invitations. Whatever information is available online about you, they will find it out.

If an employer finds embarrassing information about you on Facebook, you will probably not hear from him. Before you even begin applying for jobs, then, it’s important to work at cleaning up your name online. 

10. Forgetting about the email signature block

Most email services offer signature blocks – the ability to include a 15-word description and web link with your electronic signature. Neglecting to say Hit Android app maker under your signature and put in a link to your resume is a wasted opportunity. 

Avoid committing these most common job search mistakes and you will definitely find your dream job. Just do not give up on search in case your first attempt would be unsuccessful.

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