Are you a fresh graduate and planning to look for a job? Did you just recently quit your job and are looking for greener pastures? Are you unemployed and have little experience regarding ways to secure a job?
7 Deadly Job Hunting Mistakes
Whatever your situation may be, it would be to your advantage to study the following mistakes that have cost job seekers many opportunities that could have easily been avoided had they focused on following a clear-cut strategy to effective job hunting.
Mistake #1: Failure To Create The Perfect Resume
Before submitting your resume to a prospective employer, check your it for corrections at least three times before handing it over. After researching about the job position, it is critical that you format your resume to match the needs of the company.
For example, if you are applying for an accounting job, you should put in detail your accounting experience on your resume. Typographical and grammatical errors are serious no-no’s. It is also ideal to keep the length of the resume’ to at least a page and a half long.
Mistake #2: Failure To Appear Professional
A survey conducted by a staffing and consulting firm based in California which corresponded with 1,400 chief financial officers concluded that candidates for employment made most of their mistakes on their interviews. Some of the mistakes they made include:
- Arriving late
- Having little knowledge about the company
- Having little knowledge about the position applied for
- Having a superiority complex
- Behaving arrogantly
The body language of the applicant must also denote that he is confident yet not overpowering. He must maintain eye contact, have a strong handshake, and avoid looking defensive by the act of crossing the arms. Wearing the right clothes is crucial for projecting a confident stance. As they say, it is better to go to an interview over-dressed than being under-dressed.
Answer questions smartly
A common mistake of interviewees is that they tend to get tense and forget the questions that are given to them, which has the effect that they are not prepared for the interview. It is important to research the company and the position applied for to prevent being side-tracked during the interview.
If you do not know the answer to the questions being asked, it is better to admit you don’t know the answer to the question and add that you can research about it. Look for the skills or expertise that the company is looking for so that when interview day comes and the interviewer asks about your strengths and core competencies, you will be able to match it to what they need.
Getting the necessary referrals
Having a referral from one of the company employees can go a long way toward landing an interview. A typical company may receive job applications in the hundreds and usually 35% to 60% of all job vacancies are filled by referrals. The odds of getting hired when you have a referral are very high if you have another 200 to 500 applicants vying for the same position.
If you do not know anyone from the company that may give you a referral, it is a good idea to network the alumni of your college or university, trade groups, social networks, and professional associations. Remember, having a referral greatly increases your chances of getting the position.
Mistake #3: Failure To Apply Correctly
With the current trend of technology and its merging with business processes, more and more companies are now requiring prospective applicants to submit their application online. Thus, first impressions are relayed not by your first appearance but by the quality and content of your e-mail. E-mails regarding job application should be polished and well-articulated.
When applying on-line, use the following tips:
Complete your sentences and do not abbreviate.
Employers do not like when you send them application letters that seem to be too casual. It is important to make a letter that is both formal and well written. This gives a good impression regarding your capabilities and skills.
Get directly to the point
When writing an application letter, you must be concise and straightforward. Do not put a story on the letter just to get the attention of the employer, chances are he or she will just get irritated with you and this only reduces your chances of getting hired.
Consider potential issues that may hinder you from getting the job
You may find instances wherein there is a lot of need for a job but the requirements for the position may entail training programs that may bar you from getting the position due to its highly competitive nature. Some require a lot of experience even at least 3 years of work experience. Some may have no barriers to entry but the job itself may entail a very routine work flow.
Getting the job you want may be a challenge but never lose hope. It is better to wait a while and get a job that you will enjoy rather than get a job as soon as possible but ending up dissatisfied and unhappy. Make the right decision then act on it.
More information on completing a proper resume is included inside of our complete guide to job hunting available on Amazon.com.
Mistake #4: Failure To Showcase Skills
When applying for a job, it is ideal that you identify your strengths and weaknesses and get prepared to address them.
By knowing your advantage, the chances of getting the job that you want will surely get easier. But you should not get too confident since this is one of the common mistakes that plague job applicants. Appearing too confident or as somewhat of a know it all person will only get you labeled by your interviewer as unfit for the job.
Identifying your skills
First thing’s first. You should identify your skills. This is your ticket to get that job and you should be able to articulate your abilities and expertise as best as you can. Many people have a hard time telling their skills and abilities as this may seem to be bragging. But you should not be shy or afraid to discuss your skills.
In fact, it is important that you convey to your potential employer what your talents are. You should be able to sell your abilities to your employer. That is how you will get the job that you want.
It is important that you don’t appear arrogant or condescending but you should also avoid selling yourself short. If the interviewer asks you about your strengths or what separates you from the other applicants, you should be able to readily give a good answer. But before you even go to the interview, your resume should highlight your skills and talents for your prospective employer to see.
Mistake #4: Failure To Set Clear Objectives
To achieve a goal, there is a process that you should implement. This process is to streamline and analyze your objectives. Begin at the very beginning at the smallest, specific part. These are the most important steps to take to meet the guidelines.
An objective is a way of knowing what action or plan is to be taken and identifying the expected results. This plan provides a set of directions so that making the decision will not be as complicated as when the goal is just being considered.
It should be SPECIFIC. It is better to accomplish one goal at a time rather than thinking of several different plans at one time. A single objective cannot be derived if there are two or more results expected. What’s important is that there is a need to clarify what is to be achieved and should have your full attention.
It should be MEASURABLE. A lot of things that are not tangible are hard to measure and there are things that are really measurable for the mere fact that it includes numbers or ratings. Take the service crews for example, it is hard to measure how the service was delivered but if the number of complaints is counted then there is a specific number that can be used to rate the effectiveness of the service.
It should be ATTAINABLE. The resources available give information on how an objective can be attained. This must be something that is derived from fact and very realistic. It could be that a certain objective is indeed realistic but the time frame to reap the result may not be. It is better to say objectives that can be factual for this promotes motivation rather than an objective taken from belief as this may cause unexpected failure and feeling of discouragement.
It should be RESULT-ORIENTED. An objective should be stated clearly so that the expectation is clear. Focus on the end result as this will be the guide whether or not the objective to reach the goal is effective and meaningful. Is this objective going to help an individual grow or succeed? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Once the success has been attained and all the plans were completed then it is a success.
To sum it all up, develop an objective that is easily measured, can be attained, with a limited time, this will help in determining if the objective is realistic enough, meaningful, and proven to be worthwhile to everyone involved.
A successful objective helps motivate the individual or the group involved toward greater achievements.
Mistake #5: Failure To Prepare
Prepare and practice for an interview. After the date and venue has been set, allow time for enough preparation for the big day. Remember that first impressions do last, so the way an applicant look really does matter. Employers could easily give the verdict based on the manner of dressing during the initial interview.
Better questions and service can be received if the appearance itself commands respect. It is important to consider the surroundings of the company granting you an interview. There is no reason to be over dressed or poorly dressed during this very significant day. In fact, it is a good rule of thumb to always dress appropriately for any situation. All to often appearance is glossed over. Some might say that the inner characteristics of the person matter more, but in reality, you only have one opportunity for a first impression. Make it count!
Although there are specific guidelines that can be followed, these does not apply to all states like New York for example, where people wear trendy up to extreme styles that are far away from the usual fashion rules common people know. The rule of thumb should be to wear something that could boost more confidence.
Mistake #6: Failure To Follow Up
It is extremely important to follow up on all contacts. It is not good to just sit and wait for results to come pouring in when you think that you’ve already done your part because your contact information has been distributed.
Consider two men applying for a prime position at a company. After the interview, the first applicant just sits around waiting to hear from his prospective employer.
On the other hand, the second applicant distributes his contact information to some people that he met in the company. Furthermore, applicant number two does a follow-up on the results of the job interview a few days later. The first applicant has not been heard from, because he just relies on the basic “We’ll call you” routine. Who do you think will have a greater chance of getting the job?
Even though the first applicant is more qualified, since he did not follow up or even send a thank you note to the interviewer, in the end, he does not get the job.
If you are still waiting for that job offer and you do not follow up on your contacts, your chances of getting hired become slimmer. In business, following up on all of your contacts is a sure-fire way to spread the word about you, your business sense and expanding your horizons.
Mistake #7: Failure To Think Outside the Box
Thinking out of the Box or usually known as creative thinking seeks to design new and really creative arrangement of elements to produce a work of art. Being an out of the box thinker can be a rewarding profession. This is dangerous, but it could be one of your strengths in no time. If the herd is going to the right, you go the other way.
Remember that you could be genius in your own way. Your thoughts come from deep reaches and these totally different ideas are clever enough to make a difference in the end.
Being creative and out of the box is wild sometimes, but could move you through growth and self-development. You’ll be surprised at how easy and differently it will be for you to fix and try to solve things away from the tried-and-true habits. Let your thinking out of the old box be your guide to a new and better, wonderful approach to life.
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