Job-hunting can be tiring, boring and frustrating. When you’re searching for a new role and getting nowhere, you may be making some of the most common mistakes. Here are ten that you should avoid at all costs (and what you should do instead!).
1. Writing a three-page long CV
Are you guilty of this job-hunting sin? If your CV is longer than the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, you may want to cut it down a bit. Recruiters typically spend between five to seven seconds reviewing your application, according to research from Undercover Recruiter.
That means that they don’t have much time to decide whether you’re a worthy candidate. Help make things easier on them by keeping the document to one page and covering only the most relevant information. It may help to bullet-point some of it to keep it short.
2. Not checking your spelling and grammar
Next up, here’s one of the most basic errors you can make. You don’t want to give the recruiter any excuse to toss your CV into the ‘no’ pile. That’s why you need to make sure that your spelling and grammar is on point. Worried that you’ll make a mistake? There are a couple of ways you can cheat. Use free online tools like the Hemingway App and Grammarly to check the document before you hit that send button.
3. Using just one job site
We all have our go-to job site that we use. While many roles will be posted on multiple sites, you still need to keep your options open. It’s well worth checking out all of the options so that you ensure no stone is left unturned. With that in mind, here are some of the sites you should be looking at when you’re job-hunting:
4. Ignoring social media completely
Next up, let’s have a little chat about social media. First things first, you should make sure that all of your social accounts have high privacy settings. A potential employee may well stalk you online and doesn’t need to know how many beers you had last Tuesday night.
Aside from keeping things private, you may also be able to find roles using social media. LinkedIn should be an obvious choice. The site has a jobs section where you can find roles. However, smaller businesses often advertise positions on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Following local companies could get you the inside scoop on new jobs.
5. Not writing unique cover letters
Here’s a golden rule: When you’ve decided to apply for a role, make sure that you write a unique cover letter for it. Using the same old blanket letter won’t cut it. When recruiters read these documents, they want to get a sense of why you’re perfect for this specific role. Look at the job requirements and try your best to reference why you meet them in the letter. Doing so will give you better odds of making it to the interview stage.
6. Applying for every role that you see
You wouldn’t date everyone on Tinder so why are you applying for every job online? You spend a huge amount of your waking life at work. That’s why you should be picky when it comes to choosing roles that suit you. Think about whether you actually want the role at hand and how you would feel if you got accepted.
Of course, if you’re currently unemployed, you may be anxious to bag any role that comes your way. That’s natural! However, taking a more considered approach to finding the ideal job will mean that you end up where you should be. Panic-accepting a role may feel right in the moment but it could lead to problems further down the line.
7. Not researching before the interview
Okay, you’ve applied for a job and (hurrah!) got an interview too. Now what? Well, before you head to the business, you’re going to need to do some research. “How much do you know about the company?” is a common interview question. Recruiters use this one to find out who has done their homework ahead of time. Take 20 minutes to Google the company and find out a little about them. It will 100% work in your favour.
8. Wearing the wrong clothes
When the day of the interview roles around, you may be wondering what you should wear. Dressing appropriately is an absolute must. Of course, what you wear will depend largely on the type of role you’re going for. Keep things simple by wearing a smart-casual outfit. That could be a pair of smart trousers or skirt and a (clean!) shirt or blouse. Simple.
9. Failing to give examples in the interview
Spoiler: You will be asked a whole load of questions during the interview. If you want to really shine and land the role, make sure that you always give examples when answering your questions. For instance, if you say that you’re a dedicated worker, you should also tell them about the time that you stayed late to help your co-worker finish something important. Giving these little details will show that you’re not just all talk.
10. Forgetting to follow-up afterwards
Once the interview is over, your job is far from done! Make sure that you follow-up a few days later and find out how you did. If you didn’t manage to land the role this time around, it’s important that you get some feedback. That way, you can do better next time.