Author: Jason Walker, MD, Hays New Zealand
If you’re struggling to get out of the starting gates and obtain interviews, it could be that you're making one of several common job search mistakes - some so simple, you may not be aware of.
The six most common job search mistakes include:
1. You are searching for a new job at work
Endlessly browsing job ads when you’re bored at work and sending off rushed job applications in your lunch break is not the right way to approach your job search. Finding a new job should be a task you enjoy and get excited about. So, set aside some time and focus on it when you’re feeling refreshed, positive and energised.
2. You are exaggerating the truth
You must remember that expert screeners will immediately spot when something doesn’t add up. A lie here or there could see your chances reduced from shortlist to dust bin in a moment. Even if you made it to the shortlist, you’ll be left floundering in a job interview.
3. You are applying for every single role you find
Job searching is not a numbers game – the likelihood of being asked to interview does not increase with every job application you send. Although it may be tempting to apply for each vaguely relevant job you find, this is a waste of your time. Only apply for roles for which your skills and experience clearly match. Ensure you read the job description in full and tailor your application accordingly (see next point).
4. You aren’t tailoring each application
Be sure to tailor your CV for each application, clearly emphasising how your skills and experience make you the ideal candidate for that particular role, and remember to proof read everything. The same goes for cover letters. Taking the time to do this demonstrates to the recruiter or employer that you are serious about the role and will help you stand out from the competition.
5. You look unprofessional on social media
We’ve all seen it, that cringe-worthy photo from a friend’s birthday party that she’s now using as her LinkedIn profile picture. Do not fall into this trap. You should put yourself in the shoes of a potential employer and critically analyse your presence online. Use privacy settings if you need to, but ensure anything your future employer can find online about you depicts the most professional impression possible.
6. You didn’t follow up
The hard work doesn’t end when you hit submit on your application – the reality is that it has only just begun. Jobseekers should follow up with the recruiter or employer to find out the status of your application. This will highlight your proactive attitude, your interest in the role and give you the edge over other applicants.
Thank you for reading. For more hints, tips and insights about the world of work, visit our dedicated blog page here or click on one of the links below.