When job searching, there is a lot of work to do before you even have an interview. You are armed with the pressure of creating resumes and cover letters, navigating online job applications, and keeping track of communication with potential employers. There is plenty of room for job search blunders along the way. If you have been going hard in your job search efforts but aren’t landing interviews or hearing back from employers, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate your job search habits. It’s likely there is a mistake you are making that can be easily corrected. Here are some of the most common job search blunders to watch out for:
1) Not paying close attention to instructions
When you are reading job ad after job ad, it’s easy to overlook important details in the application instructions, such as attaching your resume as a PDF instead of Word document, including your cover letter in the text of the e-mail, or including salary requirements in the e-mail with your application. But missing small details like these can result in serious job search sabotage, since your application may never even be read. Also be sure to double check that your application and resume are being sent to the right e-mail. And if you use a cover letter template that you edit for every job you apply to, make sure you don’t forget to change important details like the company and job title.
2) Not tailoring your resume to the specific job
One of the most common job search blunders that is sure to keep you from getting interviews is sending the same resume to every hiring manager. Not only should you be including keywords from each job description to get through application tracking systems, you also need to explain your skills and experience in a way that shows how they will help you perform the job in question. If you send a resume that isn’t targeted for the job, the hiring manager will be able to easily tell and toss it aside.
3) Not cleaning up your social media
If you have controversial photos, posts or other social media material connected to yourself out there, remove it right away. Failing to clean up your social media presence is one of the most devastating job search blunders people make. Google yourself to make sure there is nothing out there that paints you in a bad light, since potential employers are likely to do their online research about you. To make social media work in your favor instead of causing job search sabotage, include industry relevant postings on your profiles, and evidence of your skills and professional accomplishments.
4) Committing job search sabotage by being too honest
Maybe the job you are applying for would be a good stepping stone for the career you see in your future, but isn’t something you see yourself doing for a long period of time. Maybe you are applying to a job that isn’t related to your career at all, but you are desperate for some income. To avoid job search sabotage, make sure you aren’t giving too much away to the employer regarding your future intentions with the job. The fact is, even if you plan a future with the company you could end up changing your mind and quit anyways, or be fired. Nothing in life is forever. But if the potential employer doesn’t feel you are invested in the job at all, they won’t bother interviewing you.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.