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6 Job-Search Mistakes to Leave in 2021

seemingly small mistake could be the difference between landing an interview or being overlooked. While there are many factors to consider while applying for jobs, there are several common mistakes candidates need to stop making in order to stand out to a hiring manager. Ware sharing how to eliminate six of these common job-search mistakes. 

 

Not networking 

It is estimated that between 70-80% of jobs are never posted, but rather found through networking. Networking may seem intimidating to some, but creating a strategy and making it a regular part of a job search can prove to be incredibly helpful.  

Candidates should start by creating a list of 10-15 companies they’d be interested in applying to and see if anyone in their network works at any of the companies. One easy way to figure this out is via LinkedIn. If there is a connection, message them to set up an informational meeting where candidates can learn more about the company and application process. Candidates may also consider reaching out to those in their network with similar titles or in a similar industry of the companies they are targeting to gain more knowledge, like day-to-day responsibilities and what skills or certifications they’d recommend sharpening up on. 

Candidates should use networking not just as a way to get a referral, but as an opportunity to gain insight into how others have found success in their career.  

For more tips on maximizing networking opportunities, click here 

 

Not highlighting the right experience 

While applying for jobs, candidates should opt for quality over quantity. While many job boards have an ‘easy apply’ option to submit a generic resume to many jobs quickly, taking time to personalize a resume and cover letter for each role is likely to be more successful.  

Candidates who personalize their resumes have a higher chance of their resume making it through an initial scan and getting a call back. Candidates should read job descriptions and ensure their resume highlights applicable skills and experience in similar terminology as used the job description. Note this does not mean including false qualifications on a resume, rather highlighting transferrable skills and experiences in a way that is clear and easy to identify. 

Especially if looking to break into a new industry or when making a career transition, transferrable skills and how they are presented on a resume and in an interview are essential. If unsure of what transferrable skills to highlight on a resume, start by listing out current and prior responsibilities and skills. Read through job descriptions of desired roles to identify where skills utilized in prior roles line up. 

If still unsure, consider meeting with a recruiter or career coach to discuss what transferrable skills to highlight on a resume and how to speak to them in an interview. These professionals know what it takes to be successful in a myriad of different industries and roles, and are a valuable resource to utilize in a job search. 

 

Focusing too much on titles 

While reading through job descriptions, it is important to not get stuck on the title of the role. Many businesses have widely varying titles for similar roles, and some roles with very similar titles may have different responsibilities and requirements at different companies. Focus on the description of the role itself. 

 

Not upskilling 

Not only does upskilling help improve a resume, but it also displays a strong work ethic and willingness to go above and beyond for a role – even before getting a job offer.  

Candidates should assess what skills and certifications they lack that are common aspects of many job descriptions they’re targeting, and create a list of both hard and soft skills to work on improving. For a list of online skill-building resources, click here 

 

Focusing too much on perks 

Another common mistake is discounting certain roles and/or companies because they lack particular perks. This could range anywhere from the ability to work from home to unlimited PTO, catered lunches, and much more. While perks are a way of getting applicants through the door, over time they can lose their allure as they don’t serve as a tool for long-term employee engagement. Plus, many perks are subject to change and can’t replace other, more permanent elements of career satisfaction like strong leadership or development/growth opportunities.  

Perks should be just that – a perk of an exciting job opportunity – but not necessarily a reason to accept or decline a job.  

 

Not having a job-search strategy 

The average job search is between two and six months, and having a plan mapped out is important to not only avoid job-search fatigue but ensure all tools are being utilized to help shorten the search. Part of that strategy includes candidates first taking time to reflect on what aspects of a current or former position they liked or disliked, as well as consider what type of industry, role, or company they are seeking in their next opportunity. This isn’t written in stone, and they can adapt and adjust the list as the search goes on, but it serves as a starting point on where to look.  

A job search should be treated like a job. Candidates should create a schedule of times per day they will dedicate to searching for employment, whether that is finding opportunities, researching various industries, connecting with professionals in the field or at the targeted companies, or preparing catered resumes and materials.  

Keeping consistent and dedicating time to job searching is one way to ensure the search does not lose its momentum and great opportunities are not missed. Working with recruiters should also be a part of any job-search strategy, and our team is ready to support you. Get connected with us here. 

 

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