In such a competitive job market, when you’re on the hunt, you cannot afford to make mistakes. Even when you are spending hours every day on job searching and you think that you are doing everything right, you may still be making some mistakes. To be successful in finding a job you need to stand out in the crowd and you may be held back by your interviewing skills, your resume, the way you are searching, and even by your parents. Don’t make these five mistakes:
Relying on your Parents for Guidance
It is natural to look to your parents for advice and guidance on many aspects of your life, including the job search. They have been in the workplace much longer than you have, after all. The problem is that your mom and dad’s job search was much different from what you are going through today. Unless one of your parents works in hiring, they really will not understand the way it works today. While they mean well, their advice could run contrary to what will ultimately help you find a job.
Ignoring Social Media
Speaking of changing trends in job searching, social media is now an important part of hiring and networking. Creating a network to help find a job is nothing new, but the way in which people do it today is far different that it was even ten years ago. Using sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are essential to staying in the loop and getting access to the companies you are interested in and the open positions. Join up with groups that are specific to your industry and don’t be shy. Jump in and get involved in discussions so that people know you are there.
Not Updating and Customizing your Resume
If you have one resume that you have been using for months and that you have been sending out indiscriminately, you are handicapping your search. If a resume is not customized to the job for which you are applying, the hiring manager will toss it aside and look for one that is. If you have a long history on your resume, trim it back and only use experiences that are relevant to a specific position. And take the time to perfect your resume. Enlist help here if necessary. Nothing looks worse to an employer than stupid mistakes on a resume.
Maybe you have excelled with your job search, your networking, and your resume, and you land an interview. You can still blow it by not honing your interviewing skills. Simple mistakes can totally sabotage this opportunity to impress: arriving late, forgetting the name of your interviewer, clamming up, or not being prepared with a resume or references. Be prepared the day before by finding directions and getting copies of you resume and references ready to go. Have someone help you practice so you will feel more comfortable once you are put on the spot.
Not Going the Extra Mile
In such a competitive market, if you do not stand out, you may not get the job. A perfect resume, good references, and excellent interview skills just might not be enough to set you apart from the crowd. Think of things that you can do to leave a positive impression on prospective employers: send a personalized thank-you note after an interview, bring a treat, like donuts, to the interview, prepare a presentation to showcase your skills, or talk about what you can specifically do for the company.
About the author: Mary Ellen Ellis writes for Sociology Degree Programs, a career site for learning about getting started in a sociology or social worker career.