Hunting for a job can be difficult! There is a resume to create, job postings to sift through, interviews to prepare for, networking to undertake and a variety of expectations in different sectors and from different employers. The process can be complicated and stressful. From recent college graduates to experienced professionals, many job hunters make the same mistakes, causing the search for their new job to become harder than it already is. The following are some common mistakes to avoid during a job search.
- Being unclear about what you want: It’s hard to find the perfect job if you’re not clear about what you really want. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Ponder the type of work that you enjoy. Think about what’s important to you (title, income, promotion, location, company culture, etc.) Use this information to decide what type of job you’re looking for.
- Neglecting your research: Not doing research results in time wasted applying for jobs you don’t want and/or you’re not qualified for. Investigate what the job market is offering. Compare job listings in terms of responsibilities, salary, benefits, company culture, etc. Determine which companies and positions would be a good fit for you. Check out company reviews. Follow their social media.
- Failing to create a plan: Without a plan, it’s easy to flounder. Set daily and weekly goals for the number of informational interviews undertaken, networking calls made and applications submitted. Spend no more than ½ an hour per day on job boards. Spend the bulk of your time networking and looking for job referrals. Be persistent. Apply often.
- Not fine-tuning your resume: As no two jobs are identical, it’s important to adjust the specifics of your resume according to each job description. Locate keywords in the job listing and use them in your resume. Make your CV concise and aesthetically pleasing. Showcase who you are as a potential employee.
- Not including a cover letter: A cover letter adds value to your application by allowing the prospective employer to feel your excitement through your words. Provide a customized letter for each position you apply for. Be eager and energetic. Tap into what motivated you to apply for the job. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction that expresses your enthusiasm about the position and the company. Follow with a description of your skills, accomplishments, attributes and qualifications as they relate to the role. Then state how you can add value. Thank the hiring manager for their consideration.
- Being unorganized: Disorganization results in time wasted, frustration and inefficiency. Develop a spreadsheet to keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for, whether you have been interviewed and when/if you’ve heard back.
- Not fully utilizing online resources: It’s important to leverage the power of the internet to make your job search successful. Subscribe to websites and publications that carry job postings. Make and/or update your Linkedin profile. Bookmark your favourite job search sites and organizations.
- Neglecting networking: Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Put your networking efforts into overdrive. Seek out industry events where hiring managers can be found. Join relevant groups in your industry. Show that you are a knowledgeable, well-rounded person that is worth watching.
- Being unprepared for interviews: Interviews are crucial! Learn about the business where you’re hoping to work. Pay attention to the mission statement, company culture, recent news and social media accounts. This will give you insight into the organization’s plans, goals and methods. If possible, find out the name of your interviewer and research him/her as well. Look into the company’s competitors to help determine what sets the organization apart. Prepare three to five selling points (what makes you the best candidate, how your experience prepares you for the position) and be prepared to explain why you want the job (what interests you about the position, what it offers you). Research common questions for the job you’re interviewing for and prepare your answers. Practice with a friend or in front of a mirror. Prepare a few stories to relate that emphasize your strengths, skills, contributions and creativity. Record your answers and then play them back to see where you need to improve.
- Being laissez-faire about your online activities: Keep your social media accounts clean and work-friendly in order to increase the chances of an employer seeking you out.
- Not taking advantage of referral opportunities: Friends, relatives, fellow alumni, past employers, coworkers, clients/customers, and professional associations are all possible sources of referrals. Utilize them.
- Failing to utilize mobile technology: Employers and recruiters use smartphones to contact candidates and often send alerts when new positions become available. Make the best of this technology.
- Not considering short-term, part-time and/or temporary assignments in specialized areas. These jobs allow you to gain experience, develop skills and acquire knowledge. Network while you are working, to position yourself for possible full-time employment later.
- Not remaining positive: A series of “nos” can deflate and discourage you making the job search more difficult. Take time to look after yourself (exercise, meditate, watch a movie, see a friend). Create a support network of people who understand your situation. Ask for support and advice.
- Being unprofessional in your communications. Fill out forms and submit resumes in the fashion requested. Make things convenient for your possible employer, easing your job search.
- Having a negative attitude makes a job search more complicated and less successful. Show initiative, creativity and a positive attitude. Be respectful when contacted and/or interviewed.
- Not enlisting the help of an agency: Job placement agencies have the experience, understanding and skills to assist you in your job hunt. They have a vast network of opportunities at their fingertips. Take advantage of their services to ease and speed up your job search.
Don’t let the common mistakes of job searching affect your outcomes. Be clear about what you want in a job, do your research and create a plan. Fine-tune your resume(s) and cover letter(s) and prepare for your interviews. Consider short-term, part-time and contract assignments. Take advantage of all referral opportunities. Above all, use the services of a placement agency. With persistence, planning and good job search skills, you can find the position that is right for you.
Need help finding a new position? Interested in some expert advice and assistance? Call our Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.