In today’s digital age, searching for a job can be done with just a few clicks of a mouse. Thousands of jobs are available via a number of avenues, including our own job board (which can be found here). While the large number of jobs available to job seekers is great, it also means that there are thousands, if not more, people seeing the same posts.
When looking for a job, it is common to seek advice from those who have gone through the process themselves, or even from different web resources. However, there is no blueprint to success and each person likely has a different story of how they got to their current position. At times it can seem like a numbers game in terms of how many jobs you apply to versus how many interviews and offers you receive. However, a lack of focus from mindlessly applying to job after job can lead to mistakes which can ultimately affect the hiring decision.
Our friends over at The Muse came out with an article titled “35 Costly Job Search Mistakes You Might Still Be Making” to help job seekers avoid these all-too-often made mistakes. These blunders are broken down into four categories: On a Resume, In a Cover Letter, In an Interview and When Following Up. Below are key takeaways from each of the four categories.
On a Resume
- Including Five Pages (Or Every Accomplishment From the Past Five Years)
- The age-old debate on resume-length rears its ugly head again. In fact, The Muse has an article highlighting just that which can be found here. Tailoring your resume to the job for which you are applying is most important. Any relevant experience should be on there, but a summer job during college scooping ice cream does not need to be (unless applicable).
- Including Blatant Typos
- A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58 percent of resumes have typos. More often than not, when a hiring manager comes across a bad typo on your resume you could be immediately taken out of consideration. Typos can be missed upon review because you have been looking at the same thing for so long. To find typos, ask someone you trust to review your resume.
- Not only could you face legal repercussion in some states, but if hired and you cannot perform the job functions that you said based on your resume, you will likely find yourself back at square one – the job search.
In a Cover Letter
- Not Including One
- While not required a hiring manager might disqualify you without one. This is also a chance to show what you will bring to the company and sell yourself.
- Not Following Instructions
- The lessons learned throughout grade school on reading instructions carefully seem to evade our minds when applying to jobs. Sometimes the instructions will detail who you should address a cover letter to, what type of experience to describe, etc.
- Putting The Wrong Company Name on the Cover Letter
- Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it?
- Using The Same Cover Letter for Every Company You Apply To
- Reiterating the importance of tailoring your resume to the job you’re applying to, the cover letter should follow suit. By re-typing a cover letter for each specific job, not only will you avoid putting the wrong name on, but it will allow you to include specifics that are listed in the job description
In an Interview
- Having a Terrible Handshake
- This is an underrated point in this article, as the quote “while average handshakes usually don’t stick in our memories, bad handshakes, sadly, do” exemplifies.
- Not Doing Your Research
- There really is no excuse for not doing your research, since we have that handy dandy tool called “Google.” In doing your research you can learn a lot about the company, office culture, different individuals in the organization, etc. When you get to the interview, your performance will show that you did your research.
When Following Up
- Not Sending a Thank You Note
- One of the most underrated actions post-interview, in my opinion. Yes, it takes time and effort, but gives the interview a personal feel and receiving a handwritten letter shows that you care. That said, the letter should be sent in a timely manner and reflect upon something mentioned during your discussion.
Going through the job process is a time-consuming and sometimes demoralizing experience. We all endure failure and rejection throughout the process, which makes it a challenging time. Whether you are navigating your own job search or imparting wisdom on others going through the process, by avoiding these mistakes and remembering some basic tips you can better set yourself up for success and getting a job.