There’s no question that landing your dream job can be one of the best things in life, but sometimes it can feel like it takes the luck of the Irish to do so. Do you know what makes it even harder? Making avoidable mistakes when you’re hunting for that job you want.
Making one or more of these 8 common mistakes can lead you down the wrong path and prevent you from finding the perfect fit. Avoid these errors at all costs to land your dream job with ease.
1. Sending a generic resume
One of the most dangerous mistakes job hunters make is sending a generic resume not tailored to the job they’re applying for. Your resume should highlight your skills and experience, not just list your previous jobs.
For example, when applying for a marketing position, you should mention your successful social media campaigns or other marketing activities.
Sending a generic resume makes it seem like you have nothing new to offer the company. It also doesn’t let employers know what sets you apart from everyone else. A good resume will give them a clear picture of who you are so they can decide if you’re worth interviewing in person.
You should tailor your resume and cover letter to the job you’re applying for rather than sending out the same generic application to every employer.
2. Having an unprofessional email address
Having an unprofessional email address is dangerous for job hunters. It can lead to companies deciding not to respond or make assumptions about you based on your email.
An unprofessional email may suggest that you are inexperienced and careless with details, which are qualities that most companies will avoid when hiring.
In the age of Google, it is easy to find information about you if they have your personal information, including name and email address; this makes it especially important that everything you have online is up-to-date and professional.
3. Posting unprofessional pictures on social media
For many reasons, posting amateur pictures on social media is dangerous for job hunters.
First, you never know when your prospective boss will be scrolling through Facebook or Twitter and see something they don’t like.
Second, if the person you are interviewing is old enough to be your parent, they might not react well to seeing you smoking or drinking on Instagram, even if it’s just in the background.
And third, there’s always the chance that you could post a picture of yourself dressed inappropriately (like wearing your underwear) which would cost you any shot at getting a job.
This all boils down to the fact that while using social media can be useful during your job search, you need to make sure everything you put out there is professional.
4. Being unprepared for an interview
Being unprepared for an interview is quite risky. If you’re about to be interviewed and have yet to research the company or the position, you’ll likely be unprepared to answer any questions the hiring manager might ask you.
The interviewer will most likely sense your lack of preparation and assume that if you can’t be bothered to prepare for a 15-minute meeting, then there’s no way you’ll do any research before starting at their company.
If you’re interested in the company and have been invited for an interview, then take some time to learn about its mission and what its employers are looking for in employees. Then, find out more about the owners of the company and your interviewers from Leadar to know the best way to interact with them.
5. Dressing unprofessionally
Dressing unprofessionally doesn’t make you look good. If you are not wearing the appropriate attire for the job that you are applying for, your potential employer could quickly dismiss your qualification.
In addition, dressing inappropriately can lead to embarrassment and even cost you a job opportunity.
So before going out for an interview, check out the company’s dress code or look at pictures from previous interviews. But remember: don’t be afraid to be yourself!
6. Badmouthing previous employers
Badmouthing previous employers is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make during your job hunt.
Even if you weren’t on good terms with your former employers, it’s not something you should ever share explicitly. Hence, job hunters need to know the consequences of badmouthing former bosses:
- Potential future employers may interpret you as a negative reflection on their company. As a result, they will likely pass on hiring you because they don’t want to deal with any trouble from an angry employee.
- If your badmouthing includes false statements, it could lead to legal action against you. Even if there are no repercussions from the employer, this type of information will still show up in background checks, which have become standard these days.
7. Not following up after an interview
Not following up after an interview is one of the most common mistakes. Interviewers are human beings who can tell when someone is not interested in the position. Not following up also leaves you open to getting overlooked for the role, even if you’re the best candidate.
It may be embarrassing to have to call back or email, but it’s better than being out of a job because you didn’t follow up. Make sure you do so promptly by sending your interviewer a thank-you note within 24 hours and following up with them.
8. Accepting the first offer
Accepting the first offer is not something you should do because it can limit future possibilities and lead to an unfulfilling career.
It’s important to consider the salary, commute time, and work-life balance before committing to the position. The company culture may differ from what you’re looking for or may lack a competitive benefits package. Think carefully before accepting the first offer so that you don’t regret your decision in the future.
If, after careful consideration of all of these factors, you still feel confident about accepting the offer, then you can go ahead and accept the very first job offer.
Having your resume and cover letter look good is not enough. Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and using social media wisely is also important. That way, if you are contacted by a recruiter or the company you’re applying for, they can find out more about who you are.
As you begin the hunt, make sure you avoid 8 common job-hunting mistakes mentioned here to ensure your resume makes it through the system.