It goes without saying that the job search can be a frustrating, time-consuming process. As a prospective candidate, you’ll most likely be tailoring each resume to the position, making yourself look as attractive as possible. Therefore, you don’t want to hold yourself back with elementary mistakes. If you’ve been sending out applications without any success, you may want to re-evaluate your job searching methods. The following are examples of mistakes that, while common, can deteriorate your chances for success:
1). Relying Solely on Job Postings
If your job search has been fueled solely by listings and announced openings, then you may be searching for quite a while. Hundreds to even thousands of applicants are competing for a single job, increasing the chances that your resume will be lost in the mix. Instead, try to use a more direct approach when it comes to job searching, whether it be through networking or contacting the job poster directly. Be as proactive as possible to ensure that your resume is seen by the right eyes.
2). Failure to Customize
Are you sending the same resume and cover letter to every applicant in order to save time? If so, this is a big mistake – the failure to customize will give your resume a static look, making it easy to ignore. Instead, read as much on the company as you can and address your interest in your cover letter. Tailor your experience and skills according to the position details, in order to demonstrate your qualifications.
3). Not Keeping Communications Professional
Job seekers often compose hundreds of emails and cover letters throughout their search. It’s likely that a typo or error will fall in the mix: however, the little details can be the deciding factor in whether your email is read or not. One important tip is to ensure that you’re using a professional email address. Instead of a vanity name, use a variation of your first and last names with a Gmail account. In addition, avoid common faux pas such as mixing up the gender of the manager, as this can result in your emails being sent to the trash bin.
4). Not Using your Time Wisely
While job hunting is a full-time job in itself, there are a number of ways to break up the monotony. If you find yourself with a wealth of free time, try to use this opportunity to bolster your resume. For example, if you’re looking for a position as a web developer, making samples of websites can be a great way to practice your skills. In addition, community managers can bolster their experience by joining forums and taking part in a niche group. From volunteer opportunities to classes, there are an endless number of ways to make the most of your time. Use your free time to learn and enhance your skills, making yourself a more attractive candidate.
5). Not Following Up
If you’ve just come out of an interview, or met a contact at a networking event, make sure you don’t forget to follow up! Following the meeting, you should send them an email or note, thanking them for allowing the opportunity to meet with you. However, avoid sending them constant messages or soliciting for favors, as this will make you seem needy. This practice will leave a favorable impression, increasing the likelihood that they’ll keep you in mind for the future.