Let’s face it. Jobseekers often find themselves in a position of desperation. Particularly in a tough economy when the job market is constricted and jobs are few, jobseekers tend to operate in a mild panic submitting rushed applications for anything and everything without giving sufficient thought to their job-hunting strategy. This lapse can lead to fatal mistakes and can negatively affect the success of your job search. Even those who are currently employed find themselves out of practice, their job-hunting skills rusty, and they become complacent putting insufficient thought and effort into their applications.
Here are 5 common mistakes that jobseekers make and how to avoid them.
1. Not using their networks.
A considerable percentage of jobs are landed through referrals. Do not be shy in mining your contacts, your network of friends, family and associates. You would be doing yourself a dis-service if you rely on and only apply for advertised jobs. There are tons of unadvertised positions filled via referral or filled before HR gets a chance to publish them. Additionally, registering with a recruitment agency like Eve Anderson Recruitment means that you can also be recruited for those unadvertised jobs.
2. Not considering the importance of cultural or personality fit.
The use of psychometric assessments by employers has increased as employers acknowledge the increasing importance of this tool in modern recruiting efforts. An individual may have the required qualifications and skills to do the job but may not be the right fit for the company due to their work style or personality. Fit is important because it is a predictor of performance, length of tenure and whether an employee will be comfortable and thrive in the work environment. It is also important that jobseekers know themselves and in researching the companies target those employers/companies with which you feel you have a strong cultural or personality fit. Do you share the same values, approaches and outlook? For example, private and public sector companies tend to have a very different work culture and moving from one to the other may be too difficult an adjustment. As a jobseeker you should attempt to demonstrate your fit in your cover letter and during the interview process.
3. Only applying for fulltime and/or permanent jobs.
The current state of the economy – recession – dictates that many companies cut costs and staff and as a result employers are making more use of contingent workers, for example, freelancers, temps, contract workers and part-timers. If you are open to these types of work you will have more opportunities to get your foot in the door since this can be a stepping stone to more permanent employment with the company in the future once you have proven yourself to be an asset.
4. Not tailoring their applications/resumes/cover letters and interview approaches to each individual employer.
Employers like to see a genuine interest, even passion, in their job as opposed to a desire to get just any job. This is communicated and demonstrated in a carefully tailored cover letter that shows you made an effort to research the company, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach. Show the employer that you are both suited to and passionate about the job and the company.
Show genuine passion in the interview by making regular reference to the ways you would thrive and succeed at their company. Be sure to mention the company in the cover letter so they know it’s not generic, mention the specific job title, and make a personal connection between yourself and the company.
5. Not realising that you have a personal brand.
As a jobseeker you have a personal brand that you are promoting and marketing to prospective employers when you apply for jobs. Your cover letter and resume represent your brand. Don’t be sloppy with your brand. Make sure they present you in the best way possible. The time and effort you invest in a great resume and cover letter is worth the reward of the ideal job that is the best fit for you.