Job hunting can be a stressful and difficult process. Hence, it’s important to stay positive and avoid making the same mistakes. Remember that you’re potentially competing with hundreds of job seekers out there for the same position, so what makes you stand out from the rest?
Any little advantage you can get in searching for a job can go a long way. Here are ten common job hunting mistakes you should avoid:
1. Lack of cover letter
Maybe you think that a cover letter isn’t that important because not all hiring manager read one, but…really, don’t they?
You see, even if the employers don’t read your cover letter, don’t assume they aren’t looking for one. An employer may not read the letter, but still reject applications without letters. If so, your unread cover letter could still get you through a round of the applicant selection process.
When the job market is this intense, not including a cover letter is a major mistake. At worse, it won’t get read; if not, your letter gives you a chance to sell yourself and your resume to the employer. Don’t take chances—in this case, at least! It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Too much information in your resume
Resume is a summary of your credentials, work experiences, and skills. This important piece of document will make or break your chance of being hired.
Your resume is your main weapon to win the first battle. This is where you can highlight all your achievements and experiences. But remember, although it is important to let the employer know your skills, know that reading 3 to 5 pages of bragging is very tiring. Employers don’t have that much time to read everything so make sure to keep it short and concise.
The ideal length of a resume should only be not more than 2 pages. Your resume should be about what you can do for the employer. You don’t need to include every task you did, your high school graduation date, or a long list of hobbies. You only have seconds to make an impression, so make sure it’s a good one.
In a competitive job market, blatant typos are enough to knock you out of contention for a job. It could only be a misspelled word, but it’s enough to ruin your chance of being hired. Most employers, especially if you’re applying for a position in the editorial or media industry, flawless resumes is a must.
Proofread your work twice, thrice or until you found no mistakes. You can also ask a friend to help you proofread your resume because sometimes, you might skip over the mistakes because you already know what you intended to write.
This is what most job hunters are commonly tempted do. They underestimate the power of hiring managers.
We get that the current job market is competitive and you need an edge to get noticed but don’t let yourself fall in the trap. You may hype up your resume with important keywords and achievements but know that the employers have a way of finding it out if they want to. They can check facts online or pay for professional background checks. If the results of their research don’t match what’s on your resume, you’re definitely not getting hired, worse still you might even get blacklisted.
5. Lack of preparation
You may have the skill set that the employers are looking for but without the proper knowledge about the company or the job you are applying for, you won’t get very far. It’s important to always prepare before meeting the employer.
Research about the companies by checking out the “About Us” pages on their websites. Showing that you have taken an interest in knowing the company will prove that you’re taking the opportunity seriously.
6. No online presence
Whether we like it or not, we’re all living in the era of internet and social media. So, it’s important to have an online presence when you’re looking for a job.
Hiring managers will Google you and the only thing worse than finding pictures of you getting wasted in a party is finding nothing at all. If you’re not comfortable with sharing your personal life online, at the very least keep a professional online profile on the job sites you’re active on.
7. Not networking properly
Gone are the days that you have to find your own way of landing that dream job at your dream company because nowadays, asking help from someone in the same field can make your job search more efficient, it’s called networking. Most job seekers are shy to ask people for help thinking that they don’t want to enter the company by connections. Sure, it’s true but there’s nothing wrong with asking for recommendations as long as you do it properly.
Ask your friend, relatives or people in your network who are in similar fields and utilize your connections to get in touch with the right people. If you don’t know anyone working in your field, join some networking events and expand your social network.
8. Only relying on job postings
Don’t limit yourself and just apply to the job postings posted online. List the companies you’d like to work for and email their HR representatives to inquire about current and upcoming jobs. Show them you want to be a part of their long-term vision and aren’t just applying to everything.
9. Unprofessional email address
It may seem obvious, but an often overlooked mistake when applying for jobs is the email address you use. You may have used your [email protected] email for professional job applications, but it’s unlikely what your potential employers want to see.
Create a simple name-based account ([email protected]) to look more professional and serious about your job hunt.
10. Forget to follow up
Following up right after a job interview gives you a chance to make a good impression. Leave a message via the job site’s direct chat platform, an email, or a phone call is a good way to show you appreciate the time and the opportunity that have been given to you.
Following up also gives you a chance to mention anything you wish you had said during the interview.