The top 5 job search mistakes

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

You’ve been applying to a lot of jobs, but you’re still unemployed. There’s a good chance you’re making some of the most common job search mistakes.

#1: You're not focused on what you want

What does an ideal job look like to you? Answering this question can help you have new ideas about what you might want to do, and where to look for it.

Before you even start your search, be clear on exactly the type of position you want, rather than focusing on one specific job role, and then spend all your efforts pursuing that sort of opportunity. Think about the responsibilities that align with your interests and experience, as well as your ideal work schedule and work environment. These are all important aspects to consider before applying.

#2: You’re applying to jobs too randomly

Do not apply to more than one job at the same company. This sends a message to recruiters and hiring managers that you’re desperate to land any job. If you’re genuinely interested in applying to two jobs at the same company, you should mention that you noticed the other one in your cover letter, and believe you have the skills and experiences necessary for it.

#3: You haven’t researched the company

In addition to enthusiasm and professionalism, recruiters are also looking for cover letters that show the applicant has taken the time to research the company and articulates how he or she will be an asset within that specific role.

Also, you should research the company’s reputation as a great place to work before you apply. By simply reading the company's Twitter feed, checking for recent news articles, and Googling to learn what other people have to say about a company can save job seekers future stress and frustration.

#4: Forgetting to Network

Networking should be the primary focus of every job search. The best networkers are listeners rather than talkers, have a clear agenda, and are not shy about asking for feedback and guidance. You need to be doing the hard work of networking and building up your profiles on social media, especially LinkedIn.

Every month, set a goal for yourself of reaching out to three people. It doesn't have to be in person; it could be sending a short note via LinkedIn or via email to catch up and see how they're doing.

#5: You’re doing it alone

Don't discount the expertise of career coaches, resume writers and job search experts. There are many kinds of career support, at various levels of investment. All of them help you to be more assertive and not waste your time.


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