Relying on outdated sources of job-searching advice
Job-search conventions have changed dramatically in the last decade. Yet many books and experts are still doling out outdated advice that are not helping your chances now. Ideally your advice should come from sources who have done a significant amount of hiring themselves—and recently, not a couple of decades ago.
Mainly listing job duties on your resume, rather than accomplishments
Accomplishments count on your resume; mere job descriptions don’t belong on your resume. What did you accomplish in this job that someone else might not have? Answer should reflect on your resume.
Feeling that your resume must be a complete account of everything you’ve ever done
Your resume is a marketing document intended to present you, your skills, and your experience in the strongest light.
One should not include:
- Short-term job from which you were fired
- The one outside your field
Sending your resume without a cover letter
Do not miss out onone of the most effective ways to grab an employer’s attention – a compelling cover letter—customized to this specific opportunity can do it.
Make a compelling case for yourself in a cover letter, totally aside from what’s in your resume. You must include one.
Annoying employers with too much follow-up
Job-seekers are sometimes advised that they should call employers to check on their application or to try to schedule an interview.
Most employers don’t respond well to your calls to check on your application or to schedule an interview, viewing it as overly aggressive and annoying.
Not preparing for interviews
Do not sell yourself short. Prepare for interviews.
Practice your answers to likely questions
Providing examples from your past work that clearly demonstrate why you’d excel at the job
Few people interview well on the fly; if you don’t prepare in advance, you’re likely to be passed over even for jobs for which you’re perfect.
Not understanding how to “stand out” as a candidate
- Do not try fancy resume designs, video resumes, sending the hiring manager cookies, and other gimmicks.
- Write a great cover letter, highlighting your qualification appropriate for the job.
- A track record of success in the area for which the employer is hiring,
- Be responsive, thoughtful, and enthusiastic.
Not paying attention to your references
When you’re asked for references, you don’t want to have to scramble to track down that manager from six years ago, or that boss who has since retired.
- Make sure that you stay in touch with the people you’ll want to use as references some day, so that you don’t have to hunt them down
- Remind them of who you are—when that reference check comes around.
Ignoring danger signs
When you really want a job, it’s all too easy to ignore signals that a company might turn into the workplace of your nightmares.
Pay attention to red flags, like flakiness, high turnover, or a manager who seems like a jerk.
Job searching is frustrating, especially in this market.
- Do not let unemployment make you bitter.
- Do not turn off potential employers.
- Find ways to have a more positive outlook.
Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise