Unfortunately for your anxiety levels, there are innumerable ways to botch your job search from spelling the HR manager’s name wrong to showing up late to an interview. Obvious mistakes aside, here are 10 often overlooked errors that should make the top of every job seeker’s priority list.
1. Not sweeping up your digital dirt
A hiring manager’s favorite places to look are Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Change your privacy settings for all social media accounts connected to your name and make sure your search results display only positive content.
2. Not fully committing
You should work your job search like it’s your full-time job. All the things you know you’re supposed to do during a search you would do if you were getting paid so learn to adopt that mentality.
3. Applying to every open position you can find
Job searching is not a numbers game, so ditch the mass emails and selectively apply for positions. Only spend time on applications for those that you actually want and that you are qualified for.
4. Not researching
Research is a key component of almost every job. Customizing your application materials based on information you’ve gathered about the company and role is a powerful way to demonstrate you have the skill without needing to say it.
5. Not sending a cover letter
The only time you shouldn’t send a cover letter is when the company specifically forbids it. Otherwise, it goes without saying that a hiring manager expects a well-written letter describing your qualifications and interest in further detail.
6. Not tailoring your resume
According to a survey by CareerBuilder.com, 71% of HR managers prefer a resume that is customized for the open position. Spell it out for them by highlighting your most relevant qualifications and experience at the top.
7. Lowering your salary expectations
If you’re having trouble landing interviews, check if you’re making one of these other mistakes before lowering your salary expectations. This will only accomplish devaluing your experience and making you look more desperate.
8. Not preparing your references
There’s nothing less impressive than a reference that’s thrown off guard by a surprise call. They may not even put a face to your name out of context. At the beginning of your job search, contact your go-to references and let them know what companies might call and what they should highlight. Better yet, don’t provide your references to any company until you are involved in the interview process.
9. Not networking during your search
Effective job searching does not mean you spend 16 hours a day applying online in your pajamas. You need to mix up your tactics and spend time meeting real people, employers, and professionals in your industry.
10. Not following up
Following up, whether that means saying thank you, providing answers, or giving updates, is something that professionals must do on the job all the time. During a job search, it’s a small but important gesture that lays the foundation for a positive relationship.