Wrong Way1

Top 10 Job Search Mistakes

What are the worst job search mistakes you can make? Some major mistakes can halt your job search before it even gets going. Others are small mistakes that, given a competitive job market, can be enough to knock you out of contention for a job.

  1. Focus your search: there’s no point wasting your time applying for jobs that you’re not qualified for. It’s a waste of time, energy, and effort. Instead, take the time to focus your job search and apply to jobs that are a match for your skills and experience. Then target your resume and cover letter, so show the hiring manager why you’re qualified at first glance.
  2. Spellcheck everything: check your resume, your cover letter, and every single email you send for grammar and spelling – even if it’s just a quick email or LinkedIn message to a networking contact. Then do it again. Use full sentences and paragraphs, regardless of how you are communicating. Writing job search correspondence like you are texting is a surefire way to knock yourself out of the running for a job.
  3. Make a list: it’s really easy to miss a message or to forget to follow up in a timely manner. Taking a few minutes to make a list of everything you’re going to do to job search, is a great way to get your job hunt off to a good start. There are free tools you can use to organize and track of all your job search activities. Take advantage of them and stay on top of your job search.
  4. Online profile: most companies that are seriously interested in hiring you will use Google to find out as much as possible about you. If you don’t take the time to create an online presence, you will come up short. At the minimum, you should have a LinkedIn Profile that’s complete with your work history and some recommendations.
  5. Research your potential employer: if you go into a job interview without researching the company, you won’t know what the company’s goals are, how you can fit into the organization, and what you can offer the company. When you take the time to do your research, you can find out everything you need to know before you sit down for interview. And you’ll come across as a well-prepared candidate for the job.
  6. Be proactive: do you have a list of companies you would like to work for? If you do, use the Internet to discover information about the company, review open positions, and find connections to help you apply for jobs that may not have been advertised yet. If not, get started on tapping the hidden job market: the jobs that aren’t advertised. A large number of jobs are never posted online and you’ll have the edge if you use a connection to help you find and apply for them.
  7. Don’t complain: tired, discouraged, feeling like you’ll never find a job? Did you hate your last job? Was your boss a jerk? Keep it to yourself, or at least to yourself and your friends and family. Despite how hard it can be, it’s important to stay positive when communicating with networking contacts, recruiters, and hiring managers. Nobody likes a complainer, even if your complaints are legitimate. So, do your best to come across as positive, especially when you’re interviewing.
  8. Don’t push too hard: nobody likes being bugged, especially hiring managers who are juggling lots of job openings, interviews, and candidates. It is appropriate to follow up, and a thank you note can help enhance your candidacy, however, it’s also important to follow up appropriately and be patient. The hiring process can take a while and annoying the hiring manager isn’t going to get you hired any faster.
  9. Be meticulous: very part of what you do when you job search, including looking for job postings, writing cover letters, dressing for an interview, sending a thank you note, job searching (or not) from work, and using social media can make – or break – your job search.
  10. Network: job search networking is one of the most successful ways to find a new job, but it can sound intimidating bit it doesn’t have to be. It can also be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to take all day. If you build a network a little at a time, it will be there when you need it. Networking is one of the important parts of job searching, so don’t skip it.

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