You’ve read all there is to read about looking for a job. You’ve crafted the perfect résumé and have highlighted all your many skills and your track record in delivering high-quality results. You’ve demonstrated your ability to lead and to innovate in your cover letter. And you’ve aced that interview for your dream job. Or, so you think. After all, you’ve been hunting for a job for a long time now and have yet to manage to secure yourself employment.
In all likeliness, you’re making some very costly mistakes in your job search that are killing your chances of landing that dream job.
1. You’re Only Looking Online
The Internet is an amazing place: it can answer all your questions on every topic imaginable; it offers a rather large collection of videos of cats doing funny things; and it can provide you with literally millions of job ads around the world.
While it’s certainly the easier way to look for a job, strictly focusing your job search online isn’t the best of ideas because, well, you’re not the only one to come across them. In fact, a typical online job ad receives, on average, 118 applications – those odds aren’t very good, are they?
An estimated 75 to 80% of job openings are never advertised publicly, and building and maintaining a strong network or even sending cold e-mails to companies that you’re interested in working at could expose you to those opportunities, also known as the hidden job market.
2. You Only Have One Résumé
There’s only one of you, so you only need one résumé, right? Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, every job you apply for requires a different résumé.
As one job’s requirements are completely different to the next, you should make it a point to tailor this all-too-important document to each position’s needs. Every company that you apply to will be looking for different things in an employee, and if you can match your past experience, skills, and responsibilities to those listed in the job ad, then you’d have given yourself a little push toward the front of a very long line of applicants.
3. You’re Not on LinkedIn
Yes, yes, we know. You’ve heard this over and over and over again. But since 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their vetting process, according to Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey, we’ll say it again: having an online presence on LinkedIn is crucial to your overall job hunting efforts. Not only does it make you look professional in the eyes of a potential employer but it also allows you to expand your network and, therefore, expose you to more opportunities. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out this excellent guide on building a perfect LinkedIn profile to help you get started.
4. You Haven’t Paid Attention to the Ad
Read the job advertisement. Really read it. Does the employer request that you e-mail your résumé in PDF format? And did you send it as a .doc? Overlooking, or downright completely ignoring, such employer instructions is reason enough to have your application “accidentally” deleted. It shows that you’re careless and that you lack attention to detail, something that employers find extremely valuable in employees. And it’s worse if you’ve listed “detail-oriented” as one of your skills in your cover letter.
5. You Have an Unprofessional E-mail Address
You’re probably the best candidate for the job and have a great track record and all the necessary skills and qualifications, but if your e-mail address is anything but professional, then it’s safe to say that employers will simply throw your résumé out and completely ignore your application altogether. Simply put, there’s just something really off-putting about firstname.lastname@example.org. With literally thousands of e-mail service providers out there today, it’s never been easier to create a professional-sounding e-mail address in just a few minutes. Just don’t forget to check it regularly for replies!
6. You Haven’t Taken Diversity into Account
We sometimes get accustomed to seeing a certain “type” of person filling specific roles – we envision doctors as men and nurses as women, for example. And, because of this, large companies often have diversity quotas that their HR departments need to consider when hiring new employees to mix things up a little bit. As such, a minority, veteran, woman, or mature employee with the same qualifications and skill sets as you might just have a better chance at landing the job.
7. You’re Harassing Employers
Following up is an important part of a job application – in fact, job seekers are increasingly expected to reach out to hiring managers to thank them for the time they took out of their busy schedules to meet with them, and to confirm their interest in the job after an interview.
However, following up can quickly get out of hand and it is an art that only few ever truly master. Even if done unintentionally, hiring managers may feel harassed when a candidate starts sending out follow-up e-mails every few hours, and this only makes them appear desperate which, as we all know, isn’t one of the most sought-after traits employers look for in employees. So, stop stalking them on LinkedIn and, for the love of all that is good, do not – I repeat, do not – send out that Facebook friend request.
Have you made any of these mistakes during your job search? Perhaps you made a couple of mistakes not listed here and would like to share some wisdom with current job seekers so that they don’t make the same mistakes? Let us know in the comments section below, and help a brother or sister in need!