Probably everyone is guilty of making at least one of the common job seeker mistakes. The job market can be a very tough place for young people, but even with a difficult job market, you should not blame others for your difficulties but start taking a look at the way you apply for jobs. Chances are you are either making some of the most common job seeker mistakes or not doing the best possible thing. Let’s look at the most common pitfalls – make sure you avoid them!
1. Sell Your Strengths
These days, there is absolutely no shame in selling yourself – job-hunting-wise that is! If you’re worried about coming across as big headed, then you should know that it is better to risk this than to risk not selling your strengths and talents enough. Not selling why you’re the best person for the position is one of the most common job seeker mistakes. Organizations are very used to highly self-promotional applications, and so you are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t do everything you can stand out with your written application.
2. Focus on Your Resume
You should spend plenty of time crafting your resume. Every aspect of your resume, from the content to the formatting, should be as perfect as you can possibly make it. You must focus on communicating clearly and concisely and ideally you want something impressive that attracts attention. A good thing to include is a professional summary at the start of the resume. Of course, opinions differ on the best length, best font and so on, and you always have room to do things your own way if you think they are best. Failing that, use examples available online for inspiration!
3. Be Specific, Not General
One of the biggest resume mistakes is to be too general and not quantify past results and achievements. If you have good numbers and figures to demonstrate your performance in a certain role, make sure you include them! Qualitative statements are also good but you must make sure they are as specific as you can possibly make them. In your past roles (or education), think about what you did and how you did, and the results achieved.
4. Have a Plan
Don’t consider yourself a strategist? Well now’s the time to become one! Having a strategic plan for your job hunt will really help you to get hired. The majority of people job hunt without a plan, and it is these people who waste time and run into dead ends while the clever job hunters work according to a plan and see positive results. The plan does not have to be complicated – e.g. I will apply for five jobs today – but you do have to stick to it.
A huge chunk of jobs are awarded to people through networking, and so you are really missing out of you are not out there. You might spend all of your job-seeking hours sitting in front of a computer, but this is not recommended. To avoid the mistake of isolation, get out of the house and get talking to people, and when you are at home, remember that you can pick up the telephone and get talking to people that way too! Speak to friends and family and get acquainted with new people. If you can land a referral for a job then you have a much better chance of getting employed.
6. Prepare for Interviews
There are three ways to prepare for your interviews. You need to talk about yourself, and more importantly you need to talk about the skills and experiences you have which relate to the role, and you need to demonstrate your knowledge of the employer. Because it is so important to appear confident and enthusiastic in your interview, you should prepare to talk about yourself and the role-related abilities and experience as much as you can. And it is always good to appear knowledgeable about the employer.
7. Apply, Apply, Apply!
It is a very common mistake to get deflated and agitated when your job hunt is not yielding results. People often get annoyed and apply less and less. No matter what position you are in, one thing should remain constant – applying for jobs, lots and lots! Whether you have a million replies or none whatsoever, nothing should affect your job hunting. Don’t take things personally, think positively and keep on going.
Do you recognize that you’ve made any of these common job seeker mistakes in the past?