Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash
FindItMore | Let’s face it – seeking job opportunities isn’t a walk in the park. Hiring companies, as well as slots for the best positions, aren’t limitless. The competition for your dream job is tough, especially if you’re a fresh graduate with little to zero experience. That said, any small mistake in your job hunt, from crafting your resume to showing up for a job interview, could kill your chances of getting a job.
If you’re looking for career opportunities right now, here are 8 mistakes to avoid for a successful job hunt.
- Focusing only on online job openings
Gone are the days when you need to manually go from one office to another to seek vacancies and submit your resume. Job listings online provide convenience both for hiring companies and applicants. However, these job postings generally produce little value, career-wise and compensation-wise.
But that doesn’t mean you abandon them. You just need to shift your focus from “openings” to “opportunities”. You can make a list of companies in your area and visit them one after another and try your luck.
Ford Myers, a career coach, speaker, author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring” recommends to spend no more than 5% of your valuable time on public job postings. Instead, put a large chunk of your time on productive networking.
- Networking ineffectively (or not networking at all)
Networking can feel like the most dreaded part of the job hunt – especially if you’re not born with the ability to effectively socialize. It’s a long game that may evolve slowly but it can pay off in the long run.
In fact, 70% of jobs are found through networking. The key is to have a structured professional approach you can easily track.
Every month, set a goal of reaching out to three people. It doesn’t have to be in person – you may send a short message via e-mail or LinkedIn to reach out professionally. You may also schedule a face-to-face interaction by inviting your connection for lunch. Keep track of who you’ve e-mailed and talked to, follow through with referrals, and thank contacts in writing.
- Sending out unsolicited resumes
If you’re blindly sending resumes to companies with no vacant positions, never ever expect to get a response. Unsolicited resumes are likely to go nowhere but the trash (or to a dusty box of scrap papers). In other words, wasted effort.
There’s an exception though. If you’re lucky and your resume is specifically formatted and targeted to a company’s open and available position, then there might be a chance for reconsideration.
- Not using LinkedIn to your advantage
LinkedIn is coined as the “professional social media.”
Like Facebook and Instagram, you can create your own profile, which talks about your college major, your field of interest, as well as relevant experiences and skills that would appeal to companies looking for newemployees. You may follow employers and industries that interest you the most. You also receive updated job postings and recommendations. Last but not least, you get a professional headshot too.
- Not distributing your application enough
One common regret most people share is not applying for more jobs. That said, fresh graduates had fewer fillers and are likely to respond to less valuable jobs due to their lack of choices.
Throwing your hat in the ring and applying for more relevant jobs increase your chance to be considered for most opportunities. The trick is to keep track of all the applications you send out.
- Making yourself too available for all
Being open to a wide array of opportunities rather than a specific job opening surely thickens your chance of getting hired in no time. However, it’s crucial to narrow down your scope to only a few desirable positions and industry.
If you want your job search to be successful, put your focus on grabbing the “right” opportunity, not just “any” opportunity. Make sure you clearly know what you want to avoid attracting unfitting companies and positions. Learn to say “no.”
- Writing a generic, self-centered resume and cover letter
Copy-paste and self-centered resumes and cover letters, that obviously lack the sense of eagerness for the specific position and company, are deal breakers.
Resume and cover letters provide you the chance to highlight your skills, interests, experiences, and goals, but they should be articulated and personalized in such a way that would appeal to the company you’re sending these files to.
The trick is to research the background of company you’re applying for and adapt your cover letter for each company. The perfect approach is to talk about HOW these relevant pieces of information about yourself meet the interests, goals, and needs of the employer. Focus on how you can be an asset rather than blindly bragging what you can do.
- Not preparing well enough for job interviews
Job interviews are composed of five essential elements: Articulating your professional background, conveying your knowledge of the company and their needs, asking questions, negotiating salary, and following up.
If you show up unprepared, you’re likely to mess up and lower your chance to be a top candidate for the position. The HR or hiring manager has to see your genuine interest in and preparedness before, during, and after (following up) the interview.