Let’s face it: looking for a job is not exactly a walk in the park. It can take several weeks to months before you get hired for a position that you truly want and matches your skillset. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the competition is high and many other job hunters may have the same qualities and level of experience that you do.
It is one thing to compete with other candidates for a position that you want. It is another to sabotage yourself by doing some job application mistakes. In this article, we’ll take a look at the four most common pitfalls of a job search that you should watch out for.
1. Not proofreading your resume multiple times
One of the most common yet very avoidable mistakes that job seekers make is not proofing their resume many times over. Sure, your skills and experience are the most important qualities that your prospective employer will look at, but you can’t expect them to be impressed if your resume is full of spelling and grammatical errors.
While your resume doesn’t have to be like a term paper, you should remember that it is like a product brochure that advertises you. Leaving glaring mistakes on your resume will make you seem like you don’t pay attention to details.
2. Not planning your job search
Sitting down in front of your computer and sending away applications to every job listing you find interesting is not exactly a good job search plan. Yes, you need to have a plan. You have to consider the job search itself as a task where you need to follow steps to achieve a goal.
Your job search plan should include things like networking and seeking referrals. You should also consider what you’ll do in case you get invited for an interview for two positions at the same time.
3. Not looking for hidden job opportunities
In case you don’t know yet, not all good job opportunities are posted on huge and popular job ad boards. Some employers opt to advertise in niche job sites, especially for technical positions. Some may also keep their job listings posted on their own website. Meanwhile, others use recruiting firms so you may not find job ads under the company’s name.
What should you do? Diversify your job search. Check out various job ad boards and don’t focus on just one. Secondly, always keep your online job seeker profile and resume up-to-date. You’ll never know who will stumble upon them.
4. Not properly preparing and customizing your resume and cover letter
When sending out your resume, you have to make sure that it comes with a cover letter. If you simply email your resume without saying anything just because the job ad instructed to email the resume, the hiring personnel may feel that you’re not that willing to exert effort.
Now, that’s just one thing. You should also make sure that you customize your resume and cover letter whenever necessary. You need to read the job ad more than once to understand what a company is looking for, then ensure that your cover letter is related to the job’s primary requirement. The same goes for your resume. If you can edit your executive summary to match a job’s specific requirements, do not hesitate to do so. You should also ensure that your cover letter and resume are properly and neatly formatted.