For some people, the job search process is more challenging than it should be. If you feel like your hunt is never-ending, it could be that you unwillingly work against yourself by making some job search mistakes. Job search is all about being creative about how you connect your skills to the company’s requirements. Recruiters lookout for authenticity, trust, and competence, and that should reflect in your body language, tone, and delivery. Check out below some common job search mistakes graduates make. Try and avoid them at all costs!
#First Job Search Mistake: Starting without a plan
Most job seekers just randomly start to search on platforms without knowing what they truly want and that is already the first job search mistake you can make. It’s way more efficient to make a plan or list beforehand. First of all, you should ask yourself which kind of job you want, if you really have the right qualifications for it and which companies are from interest for you. Then write down all these firms you are interested in, responsibilities you want to take over and make a time schedule to stay on track and measure your progress. During the application process these plans will guide your way and make sure you will not get lost on track.
#Second Mistake: Only talking to your laptop 🙂
Getting a job is not a one-man show! Hit up your friends and ask them for advice for your resume or cover letter. Most of the time, it’s way easier to figure out your weaknesses or strengths together with your network. Other people are more likely to judge your skills in a neutral position and encourage you to believe in yourself, further boosting your job search attitude. So, better, don’t let your laptop be your only team partner for this hunt.
A successful job search strategy starts with your network. From the day you make up your mind, scan through your network to identify persons who can recommend your profile to recruiters. The probability of securing an interview through recommendation is higher than through job boards.
#3: Not Matching your Skills with the Job Requirement
For many recruiters, it’s not worth guessing from your resume or cover letter whether you could have the skills or not. An average job post receives several applications. Therefore, you need to match your qualifications with the required skills in the job offer to be considered an eligible applicant. Suppose you have them make sure to point them out in your resume or cover letter so that the decision-maker will find them for sure. Job search is a bit like dating, so go and get them!
#Fourth Job Search Mistake: Not believing in yourself
Self-doubt is our worst enemy while seeking a job. Not believing yourself is a pitfall and counterproductive to your job search strategy.
Didn’t you get a callback? or didn’t you hear back after several applications? Well, it is refreshing to know that it’s all part of the job search journey. If one door closes, another opens, and persistence is key to nailing the next job. Don’t spend all your energy doubting your efforts and talent. Rather, remind yourself that the rejections are directing you to the right position. Always ask for feedback from recruiters to perfect your profile. Spend more time to check whether your skills fit the requirements of the vacancy. Check your resume and cover letter and improve them, but don’t get an emotional breakdown, and never stop believing in yourself!
Job search Mistakes are sometimes subtle but damaging, being aware is important especially first time job seekers
#Fifth Mistake: Not personalizing the application
Let’s get blunt about this, Don’t ever send the same resume and cover letter to everyone. It is a recipe for disappointment, and you should never try it! Always try to make your application as personalized as possible! Is there a name of the employee that will evaluate your application? Address him/her directly in your cover letter. Did you remember to mention the name of the company on your application materials? Don’t forget! Personalizing an application material also requires that you connect your story, career journey, and future to the employer. If you want to find more about preparing your resume and cover letter the right way, check out this article.
#SixthMistake: Relying too much on others
It is good to get a little help if it’s professional or just advice from your friends. However, it would be best if you still kept control of it. It’s your task to search and apply for the job you want and not the ones others think could fit for you. Imagine getting an invitation for an interview with a company you have never heard of because someone completed the application for you? Or a friend forced you to apply for a job you are not interested in? It feels awkward, right? The main concern is how you will convince an employer if you don’t know much about their industry.
Don’t get me wrong, and I am not saying you should never get help while applying for a job but always make sure you are keenly involved in the process. Keep in mind that only you and you alone can sell yourself with success.
#SeventhMistake: Not practicing Enough
Many graduates or even experienced job seekers do not practice their stories well before showing up at an interview. Take time to rehearse your lines before an interview, and it can save you a lot of stress and embarrassment on your interview date. It would help if you met with friends or family or even talk to yourself in the shower to get a feeling of how to sell yourself the best way. Remember, it’s not always that the HR manager asks direct questions about your skills, so make sure you include them in your first pitch, i.e., your description. Another advantage of practicing is that you will always have a well thought out answer on hand in the real situation of getting interviewed. However, this does not mean you should learn the answers by heart; you may sound fake or unreal.
#8: Not asking the Right Questions when given the opportunity
During most interviews, the recruiter will ask you if you have some questions about the company, job, or corporate culture and work environment. It would help if you never said that you don’t. Asking brilliant questions is a way to impress the interviewer. Curate great questions to know more about the organization, your role or even seek clarification about a recent press release or new project.
Even the best of us makes these job search mistakes at least once in their life. Make sure you won’t do them (again). Take your time, inform yourself, do your research, and your job search will be more productive, and success will come for sure. If you are still struggling, don’t hesitate to ask your friends, family, or even a professional for advice, there is no shame in asking! Good luck!
These principles have universal applicability when searching for jobs. Whether you are applying to work in China or seeking employment abroad, they will come in handy.