Job Seekers, Avoid These 7 Deadly Job-Hunting Mistakes

Job Seekers, Avoid These 7 Deadly Job-Hunting Mistakes
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Many a job seeker misses out on job opportunities because of these easily-avoided job-hunting mistakes. Here’s how to avoid them and find your dream job.

Are you a fresh graduate or 10th pass student planning to look for a job? Did you just recently quit your job and are looking for greener pastures? Are you unemployed and looking for career guidance on ways to find a new job?

With millions of Indians facing unemployment during the pandemic, it’s only natural that you’re now a job seeker looking for a new job or a career change to remote work from home jobs.

Many people are looking for employment in our current economy. They either want to get a job that pays better, has more potential for advancement, or want to start working remotely rather than in an office.

Regardless of your antecedents or prior experience, there are many job openings for those who are determined to find full-time or part-time work from home jobs.

While a job coach can help you find a new job or make your career transition seamlessly, there are a number of mistakes that a job seeker can make during the job search and job application process that you can easily remedy.

Whether you’re looking for career options after 12th or 10th standard or careers for graduates, avoiding these mistakes that have cost job seekers many job opportunities will help you follow a clear-cut strategy to effective job hunting.

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Job-Seekers, Avoid These 7 Deadly Job Hunting Mistakes

Here are some easily-avoided job-hunting mistakes that many job seekers make and end up missing out on job opportunities, with tips on how to avoid them and find your dream job.

Mistake #1: Failure To Set Clear Job Search Goals

Understand your WHY – the purpose that this job will fulfil in your life – and it will be much easier to decide from multiple job employment options available and go for the one that meets your purpose.

Whether your objective is to find a job that supports you and your family or enhance your career growth and development, streamline and analyze your job search goals so you can create an action plan that gets you the results you want.

Setting a goal will also help you find clarity on the kind of job you want to apply for. An action plan provides a set of directions so that making the final decision about your job opportunities will become easier.

Here are some tips for setting S.M.A.R.T goals for job seekers to help you navigate your job search process:

  • It should be SPECIFIC

You cannot achieve a goal by working on more than one result. It is easier to accomplish one goal at a time rather than focus on several different plans at one time.  Get clarity on the goal you want to achieve and give it your full focus and attention.

  • It should be MEASURABLE

As a job seeker, you must be able to measure the effectiveness of your job search by the results you achieve so that you can focus on the things that give you the best results.

For example, if you’re trying out a number of job search apps, you should be able to measure which ones are giving you the best responses so you can stop wasting time on the others.

  • It should be ACHIEVABLE

It’s wonderful to dream and visualize, but your job search goals must be realistic and achievable. Focus on the goals that you believe in and work on ways to achieve them.

  • It should be RESULT-ORIENTED

As a job seeker, you must have clear expectations on what end-result you hope to achieve with your job goal-setting process and focus on the end result that is most meaningful to your career path.

  • It should be TIMELY

Perhaps you need a new job in order to pay the bills due next month or your home loan coming up. Setting a time frame to achieve your goals will help you ensure that your job search will help you get results in the time you want.

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Mistake #2: Not Customizing Your Job Resume To The Job Description

After researching the job position, it is critical that a job seeker customize their job resume to match the needs of the job agency or company you are applying to. Try tailoring the objective on your resume to the position you’re applying for.

Before submitting your job resume to a prospective employer check your job resume for typos and ensure that you also customize the job description you’re applying for.

If your resume includes an objective, it should match whatever position you are applying for at that job. When you have more specific details in your objective, you better your chances of being chosen for that position.

Before signing up on job apps to apply for a job, you must identify your strengths and weaknesses and be prepared to address them in your application and during the job interview process.

For example, if you’re applying for an accounting job, you should put in detail your accounting experience on your job resume. If the interviewer asks you about your strengths or what sets you apart from the other applicants, you should be able to answer them confidently.

Identifying your job skills is your ticket to getting that dream job, so you should be able to highlight the job skills and job experience that are relevant to the job description and articulate your abilities and expertise as best as you can.

But before you even go to the interview, your job resume should highlight your job skills and talents for your prospective employer to see. Many people have a hard time talking about their job skills and abilities as they see this as bragging.

Yes, it is important that you don’t appear arrogant or condescending, but you should also avoid selling yourself short and don’t be shy or hesitant to discuss your skills.

In fact, you must be able to sell your abilities to your employer, so it is important that you convey to your potential employer what your talents are before and during the job interview.

By understanding and highlighting the edge you have over other job-seekers, you’ll boost your chance of finding your dream job.

The Resume Builder Tool in the Glow & Lovely Career Community on SHEROES provides helpful instructions for building your resume online.

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Mistake #3: Not Filling In The Job Application Form Properly

Today, first impressions are communicated by the quality and content of your email and online communications regarding the job application. As a job seeker, you must ensure that your language is polished and your points are well-articulated.

If you need help to learn better English for job applications, join the Glow & Lovely Career Community on SHEROES and access the free English courses to improve your written communication skills.

With the current trend of technology and its merging with business processes, many job-hunting websites and job agencies now require prospective job seekers to submit their job application online using a job application form.

When applying online using a job application form, use the following tips:

  • Write in complete sentences & don’t abbreviate

Employers do not like it when you send them application letters that seem too casual. SMS language may be fine for Whatsapp and social media, but it is not appropriate to use abbreviations in your job cover letter.

It is important to write a cover letter that is both formal and well-written. This gives a good impression regarding your cognitive capabilities and skills.

  • Get straight to the point

When writing a job application letter, you must be concise and straightforward. Don’t write a long story just to get the attention or sympathy of the employer.

This is a waste of their time and ensures that they will get irritated, decreasing your job hiring chances. Be respectful of your employer’s time by keeping your cover letter brief and to the point.

  • Issues that may prevent you from getting the job

There are some cases where employers may require you to undergo training programs to qualify for a job. If for some reason, you are unable to do the training, you should not apply for the job.

Some jobs require a lot of experience, including and up to 3 years of work experience. Others may have no barriers to entry but the job itself may entail a very routine workflow that may not work for you.

If you find that you’re not getting the job you want don’t lose hope. It is better to wait a while and get a job that you’ll enjoy rather than take any job that comes along and end up unhappy and dissatisfied. Make the right decision and then act on it.

Mistake #4: Failure To Dress Appropriately For Job Interviews

Remember those first impressions last, so the way a job seeker looks really does matter. Even in virtual job interviews, wearing the right clothes is crucial for projecting a confident stance.

All too often appearance is glossed over. Some might say that the inner characteristics and job skills of the job seeker matter more, but in reality, you only have one opportunity to create a good first impression, so make it count.

In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to ask about the company’s interview dress code and dress appropriately. There’s no reason to be overdressed or poorly dressed during this very significant day.

Employers could easily reach a quick decision based on your manner of dressing during the initial job interview, so wear something that will boost your confidence. The job interview questions and answers will hold more weight if your appearance commands respect.

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Mistake #5: Failure To Be Professional During Job Interviews

A job agencies survey concluded that job seekers made the most of their mistakes in their job interviews. Some of the job interview mistakes they made include:

  1. Arriving late
  2. Having little knowledge about the company
  3. Having little knowledge about the position applied for
  4. Having a superiority complex
  5. Behaving arrogantly

Here are some job interview tips to boost your professionalism in job interviews:

  • Be prepared and do your research

Job seekers need to prepare and practice for a job interview.  After the date and venue have been set, allow time for enough preparation for the big day.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when going into a job interview is to have not done your homework on the company that you are applying to. This shows a serious lack of interest and you will never get a job this way.

Look at the companies website, social media accounts, and do some internet searches to learn all you can prior to your interview.

It is important to research the company you are applying to and the job position you applied for to avoid looking ignorant and getting side-tracked during the interview.

Understand the job skills or expertise that the company is looking for so that when the interview day arrives and the recruiter asks about your strengths and core competencies, you will be able to customize it to their requirements.

  • Answer job interview questions confidently

A common mistake that job seekers make is that they tend to get nervous and forget the answers to the job interview questions, so they come across as unprepared for the interview.

If you don’t know the answer to the job interview questions being asked, it is better to admit you don’t know the answers and add that you will research the topic to learn more.

Your body language must denote that you’re confident, yet not overpowering Maintain eye contact and avoid defensive body language like crossing your arms.

On the other hand, appearing too confident or a know-it-all will only get you labelled by the recruiter as obnoxious and unfit for the job.

  • Get a job referral if possible

35% to 60% of all job vacancies are filled by referrals. So getting a job 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 from job seekers and as a job seeker, getting a job referral greatly increases your chances of getting the position, especially if there are hundreds or thousands of applicants vying for the same position.,

Create a reliable list of references and streamline your application process by having your references and their contact information with you whenever you apply for a job or attend an interview.

Try to have at least three references, and at minimum, include their job titles, phone numbers, and email addresses. Always ask for permission before providing someone’s name and contact information for a personal or professional reference.

If your contact is caught by surprise by your would-be employer, they may not have the time to give a positive, well-thought-out answer. You also run the risk of discovering that this person did not share the enthusiasm for your performance, skills and abilities.

If you cannot ask anyone from your previous company to give you a referral, it is a good idea to network with the alumni of your college or university, trade groups, social networks, and professional associations for someone who works at the company you’re applying for a job.

If you have prior managerial or supervisory experience, you can include referrals or testimonials not only from higher-ups, but also include feedback from your subordinates. Hiring managers look for candidates who can connect and build rapport with employees at all levels of an organization.

  • Never talk negatively about others

You will only give yourself a bad name and cause others to wonder what it is that you are doing wrong. Instead, focus on the positives so that you’re seen as a desirable member of the team.

Even if you did not leave your last job on a pleasant note, don’t criticise your former employer or reveal any confidential information about them as this information could get back to them and make your future employer wary of hiring you.

job fair

Mistake #6: Failure To Follow Up

Now that you’ve sent out your resume at the virtual job fair and attended the interviews, this is not the time to put your feet up and hope for the best.

It is extremely important to follow up with your contacts. Don’t just sit and wait for results to come in now that you’ve done your part and your contact information has been sent out.

Consider two women applying for a prime position at a company. After the interview, the first applicant just sits around waiting to hear from her prospective employer. On the other hand, the second applicant distributes her contact information to some people that she 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 she 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 she did not follow up or even send a thank you note to the interviewer, in the end, she does not get the job.

If you’re still waiting for that job offer and you do not follow up with your contacts, your jobs hiring prospects get slimmer. In the business world, following up with your contacts is a sure-fire way to spread the word about you, and impress others with your business sense and enthusiasm.

Mistake #7: Failure To Think Outside the Box

Thinking “out of the box” – usually known as creative thinking – seeks to design new and really creative arrangement of elements to innovate or produce a work of art.

Being an out-of-the box-thinker can be risky but rewarding, and it could become one of your biggest strengths in no time. If the herd is going to the right, you go the other way.

You could be a genius in your own way. Your thoughts and ideas may be innovative, different and clever enough to make a difference to your company.

Being creative and out of the box is wild sometimes, but as a job seeker, it could move you rapidly through your career growth and self-development.

You’ll be surprised at how easy it will be for you to fix and solve problems without resorting to tried-and-true solutions. Let thinking out of the old box be your guide to a new, better and wonderful approach to life.

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Finally, keep an open mind when trying to find a new job. Don’t only apply for the specific position you are looking for, but jobs that are related to that position as well.

You might not end up landing the exact position you were looking for, but it will give you an opportunity to get into a company where you can transfer positions down the road.

Older job seekers can benefit from being active on professional social media networks like LinkedIn. Be sure to fill out your LinkedIn profile completely and include your technical and social media skills. Understanding how to use social media for networking is a valuable skill today.

Download the SHEROES app for women and get free career counselling online, or connect with a professional counsellor if you need free job loss counselling.

I hope these job search tips and job interview tips for job seekers will help you with your job search online.

About the author:

Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.

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