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Five Common Job Search Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The job search process can be difficult and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be! Job seekers often face several challenges on their journey: from getting the first interview call all o securing your dream job. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 common mistakes that people make when searching for jobs and how you can avoid them to achieve the success you deserve.

Mistake #1: All About That Resume

Firstly, aim to ditch the over-explanation. Hiring managers have an influx of resumes that they have to scan through so it’s important that you have included exactly what you need to and ditch what you don’t. Save the bulk of the ‘about you’ section for a cover letter.

Secondly, don’t fall prey to the ‘spray and pray’ approach. Don’t send out your resume without any prior contact and hope for results. This will prove unsuccessful in most cases and will most likely be counterproductive. the time wasted doing this could be spent digging for valuable company information or interacting with your network.

Thirdly, references. How can you go wrong with references? Here are a few examples:

  •  Using a reference without consent. Always assume that the hiring manager will contact this person to follow up on their reference of you – which isn’t going to go well when the referral doesn’t remember ever writing one. Avoid at all costs.
  • Using an out-of-date reference. The hiring manager does not want to hear the praises of a teacher from 20 years ago.
  • Using an unreliable reference. You want to have someone reachable to back up the information put down. If the reference isn’t reachable and unreliable, it reflects badly on your decision making, don’t let their first impression of you be that you make poor decisions.

Mistake #2: Sort Your Network

Sorting your network should ideally be a practice that happens on a semi-regular basis. So many people save networking for when they’re unemployed, but if you make an effort every now and then to interact with your network be it in person or online, the time gap between jobs will probably shrink significantly, and in some cases not exist at all.

For those looking to utilize their network immediately, it’s imperative to create a strategy. Who do you want to reach out to? How many each day? When will you do this? Which connections are most likely to be fruitful? Who are the key influencers of your job role? Answer as many of these questions as possible and create a spreadsheet tracker to log the progress and conversations. Success comes with a strategy, so creating yours should be the first thing to do on day 1.

Mistake #3: What Do You Know?

Getting to know the company goes beyond the ‘about us’ section. Imagine yourself as the company rep, and base the depth of research on that mindset. The most vital tool that you can bring to an interview is a solution to a company problem. This doesn’t have to be a 40 slide PowerPoint on how to maximize profits by X% per year, rather, an observation that might streamline an existing process or procedure. This can really benefit the chances of being a prospective employee because it helps the hiring manager imagine you in that role. In order to do proper company research on a potential solution, it will take time. However, the payoff can be very lucrative.

Mistake #4: No follow-ups? No job.

Following up ensures the process is not left open-ended, the ideal outcome is to have definitive answers to all your questions. Not to mention it shows that you’re organized and polite, this really is a minimal effort activity that can boost the chances of success significantly.

Mistake #5: Failing to prepare, preparing to fail

There’s a sweet spot that exists within interview prep. Get to know as much about the company as possible, and have mental questions & answers lined up ready to go, but it’s important to leave room for small talk, letting your personality shine through, and giving yourself enough rest the night prior. Prepping also reduces the number of decisions you have to make on interview day, reserving as much brainpower for the interview as possible. This can be achieved by:

–         Choosing an outfit prior to the interview which labels you as a professional.

–         Plan the route and backup route.

–         Prep food to the best of your ability.

–         Set a bedtime and stick to it.

So there they are – 5 common job search mistakes and how to avoid them. Notice the key themes here are preparation and taking your time on each role to make the application the highest quality possible. Make a plan, track it, and think ahead, and you’ll significantly increase the chances of landing your next job.

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