Considering the technology at your disposal, it should be easier than ever to find a job. You can build a resume and post it to hundreds of job sites. You can network on LinkedIn and other social media. You can apply to dozens of jobs via email without picking up the phone or leaving the house. On the other hand, the very efficiency of all this technology can lead to mistakes. When a process is too simple, you don’t always put enough thought into it. If you’re not getting the results you want from your high-tech job search, there’s a good chance you’re making one or more of the following mistakes detailed below by Maneck Mohan, the CEO of Recruit.net an online recruitment platform used by millions of people.
- Not Casting a Wide Enough Net
While it’s a significant advantage to have so many resources for job searching today, everyone else has these same advantages. When you apply for posted jobs, you’re probably competing with dozens of other candidates, in some case hundreds. You can improve your odds by taking proactive steps and not relying strictly on posted positions.
Research companies in your industry and make a list of ones you’d like to work for. Send out inquiries, even if they aren’t currently advertising. With an aggressive and creative approach, you might also be able to create a position for yourself by proposing a solution that fits their needs. Another method is to offer to start with them part-time or on a freelance basis. Don’t neglect the power of old-fashioned, offline networking. This includes people in your own circle of acquaintances as well as those you meet at networking and business-related events. The more comprehensive you are in your job search efforts, the better your chances.
- Applying for the Wrong Jobs
Your time and resources are finite. Applying for every job opening you see dilutes your efforts. Even worse, getting a job that isn’t right can derail your career. Don’t be so desperate to get a job that you apply for positions that you’re not qualified for. It’s okay to apply for a dream job every so often, but if you’re consistently overreaching, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Identify the sweet spot: those jobs that are just right for you at this point in your career.
- Clichéd Resume
You already know that it’s important to keep your resume up to date and to make sure it’s accurate and error-free. If you haven’t given your resume a good proofreading, make sure you do. Even if your resume is technically error-free, however, you want to make sure it isn’t a cliché-ridden carbon copy of millions of others. Avoid using terms such as “self-starter,” “team player,” “proven track record” and “results-oriented.” Hiring managers see these overused terms many times per day. Find more original ways of expressing your talents and strengths. It’s always better to give concrete examples of how you demonstrated your motivation or ability to work on teams rather than to use such hackneyed labels.
- Not Customizing Job Applications
It’s understandable that you want to get your resume out to as many companies as possible. However, you want to focus on quality as well as quantity. This means a customized approach that requires a little research on each company. Whenever possible, find out the names of hiring managers so you can address cover letters to individuals rather than using generic titles. Say a little about why you want to work for this company in particular. When you do get interviews, do extra research so you can show up with knowledge about what they do and how you can contribute. Do your homework and prove that you care enough to find out who they are.
- Inappropriate Social Media Presence
Many people today post to social media sites without thinking much about it. When you’re conducting a job search, however, this habit can backfire and make people think twice about giving you an interview or hiring you. If your social media presence makes you look like you spend most of your free time partying or hanging out in bars or clubs, it’s a good idea to clean up your posts and profile.
If you have lots of photos on Instagram, Facebook or other sites, go through them all and remove any that might be deemed inappropriate. You should also take down posts that suggest you’re overly argumentative or hostile. Flame wars on social sites or forums or anything that could be considered trolling is a red flag to companies looking to hire. Aside from taking down anything that might harm your reputation, think carefully about what you post in the future.
Finding a job is seldom easy. The internet and social media have certainly made searching more efficient, but there are just as many challenges as ever. Remember that finding the right job is a numbers game and it usually takes persistence and a multifaceted effort. You will improve your chances with lots of persistence, a focused approach, and by avoiding the above mistakes.
About Maneck Mohan:
A graduate of Boston University with a global upbringing, Maneck Mohan now resides in Hong Kong where Recruit.net is based. His passion for technology and building best in class recruitment products has enabled him to deliver award-winning solutions in a field that is usually dominated by giants. Recruit.net offers users a better way to find a job, and provides a simple way to easily search through more than 19 million job postings worldwide.
Maneck Mohan around the web: