Finding a new job is hard work, but you might be making the process even more difficult. Studies show that an average of 50-60 people apply to every open position; however, you can beat the odds if you play your cards right.
If you’ve been on the market for awhile now, but still haven’t received an offer, you’re probably committing at least a few common job-seeker blunders. Your situation will improve with a few much-needed changes.
Failing to Customize Your Resume
Hiring managers know the position they’re filling is special, and they want to make sure you feel the same way. Submitting a generic resume sends the message you aren’t interested enough in the job to spend time customizing your application. The candidates scoring interviews are catching the attention of both resume-screening software and employers by taking the time to tailor the document for the specific opportunity.
Restating Your Resume in Your Cover Letter
If your cover letter contains the same information as your resume, it serves no purpose. It should supplement your resume by offering a glimpse at your personality and sharing other key facts not included elsewhere in your application. This is your space to demonstrate cultural fit and show enthusiasm for the job, so use it wisely.
Relying Solely on the Internet
Job boards are one element of a job search, but certainly not the only avenue. If you’re serious about getting hired, you need to reach out to your contacts, attend networking events and contact companies you’re interested in for informational interviews.
Working with a recruiter is also a smart approach. These professionals will help you polish your interview technique and offer access to exclusive opportunities not listed elsewhere.
Not Preparing for the Interview
Job interviews are anything but a formality. Decline the invitation if you’re not interested enough in the opportunity to arrive prepared and ready, otherwise it is a waste of everyone’s time. Prior to the meeting, research the company and the interviewer, practice responses to common interview questions and come up with your own list of questions.
Choosing the Wrong References
The people you select to speak on your behalf to a potential employer can make or break your chance of success. Always choose those you have a professional relationship with — e.g., former managers, colleagues, clients, professors — but only use people who you’re confident will speak highly of you.
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