It’s a highly competitive job market nowadays, which is why it’s critical that you avoid any mistakes during your job search. Even the smallest mistake can cost you.
Mistake #1: Limiting Yourself to Online Postings
One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make in today’s market is spending 100% of their search efforts simply responding to postings on sites like CareerBuilder. This limits the scope of your job search. Instead, you should spend no more than 50% applying to postings and the other 50% at networking events and job fairs. Networking and putting your face directly in front of hiring managers is the best way to boost your efforts.
Mistake #2: Being Unorganized
You can’t find a new job or change careers without a plan, or else you’re leaving your future to luck! Sit down and create a well-thought-out step-by-step plan. Set aside time in your daily schedule to search, apply, and track your results and plan time to attend events on a weekly or monthly basis.
Mistake #3: Not Following Instructions
On job postings, you might see a small blurb of info that may say, “send resume and 1-page cover letter to…” If you decide to just apply to the job posting and not follow the instructions or send a cover letter more than 1 page, you are wasting your time and the hiring manager’s time. Always follow any sort of instruction in order to apply!
Mistake #4: Letting Others Control Your Search
We can help you in your search, but if you submit your resume and wait for us to find you a job, you’re leaving your future in our hands. When you apply to one of our jobs or submit your resume to our database, don’t stop your job search and wait to hear what our recruiters have to say. We’re here to help boost your efforts and promote you to our network, not do the search for you. Search our job board or submit your resume to our database here.
Mistake #5: Not Knowing Your Value
How can you sell your skills and worth if you have no idea what you’re selling? Your value is a crucial piece of info to use when looking for a job and negotiating a job offer. Payscale.com is a great site to help you better understand what your value is. When filling out the questionnaire, be completely honest with your answers and you’ll receive a detailed description of your value based on your experience, education, skills, and overall background.
Mistake #6: Ineffective Networking
Networking is the best way to put yourself out there. However, if you are going to events and sitting at your table waiting for someone to come up and talk to you, you’re wasting time. No job worth having will come to you. You have to go after the jobs you want. Check out these Job Seeker Tips for Networking.
Mistake #7: Not Being Realistic
Sometimes your determination can lead you to apply to jobs that are a little too ambitious for your qualifications. It’s ok for you to apply to jobs with a little bit of a stretch, but if you are applying to jobs that you don’t qualify for, then you’d be lucky if you hear back.
Mistake #8: Waiting
Don’t expect hiring managers to come knocking your door down to hire you, so don’t wait too long for hiring managers to respond to your applications. You should never stop your job search just because you found the “perfect” job and have applied for it. Keep searching for newer and better opportunities to apply to. After a week of waiting for a response from your applications, get in contact with the hiring manager to check on the status of the job. Chances are their hiring process might be slow, but you always want to showcase that you are still an interested candidate.
Mistake #9: Keeping It a Secret
Looking for a job isn’t a bad thing and shouldn’t be a secret kept from your friends and family. They can help you. Your friends and family are the core of your network, so keeping them in the loop of your job search can help them look out for you too. The only people who should be kept out of the loop are your current coworkers, managers, and anyone else that would feed info like this to your current employer.
Mistake #10: Doing It Alone
Just as we mentioned in Mistake #4, you should never let others control your job search because it’s your future. However, that does not mean you can’t use help. If you have a friend who is searching for a job too, do your searching and networking together. It helps to have someone around at networking events and job fairs. It also helps to have someone review your resume, cover letters, applications, etc. Consider them your “wing man or woman” in your job search. No one ever said you have to do it alone.