6 job search mistakes and how to avoid them


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Even the most experienced job seekers make mistakes sometimes, but in such a competitive market, one small mistake can cost you your dream job.

But if you learn how to navigate away from potential pitfalls from the start and discover the hidden doors, then your job search will be more productive and yield more positive results.

To help you, here are 6 mistakes to avoid in your job search:

1. Send applications only to Online classifieds

1140 job seach online tools reseach employment.imgcache.revcb485db7b5c85b34dd16ea05611db103 - job searchIt is estimated that only 25% of jobs are published to the general public, the ones you see on the internet, in newspapers.  The remaining 75% of hidden jobs covered before they go out to advertise. What can you do?

Activate your network. Employers prefer to recruit through references and contacts. Connect through LinkedIn with employees who work at companies you are interested in. Go to networking events. This tactic may take a while to yield results but don't forget that:

"The most successful people in the world build networks, everyone else is looking for a job"

Tip: Spend 30% of your time on online applications and 70% on networking.


2. Send bulk CVs

The 90% of candidates send the same CV to all applications. Big mistake. When an employer receives anywhere from 400 to 2,000 resumes for each ad, it's too hard to stand out with a generic resume. Nowadays, in many companies, the first evaluation is not done by the human eye but by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), software that looks for specific keywords in your resume. How do you expect your resume to move to the next phase if you don't adjust it for EVERY POSITION.

Tip: Read the ad carefully, identify the keywords and add them to your CV.

>> Learn in just 2 hours how you can tailor your CV for each position <<

3. Rejecting ads because it's not your dream job

More than 30% of candidates who apply for specific jobs are hired for a different post. It may seem strange, but in essence, the employer wants you where you can offer and perform better. You may be applying for a marketing position but actually be interested in sales, express it well in the interview and the employer may judge that this would indeed be a good fit for you. It's not an unlikely scenario.

A true story: a woman had gone for an interview for a position in management support. She knew almost everything about the company and had suggestions on how they could address the challenges they were having at the time. The CEO hired her immediately but for a different position. She now works as a Training Specialist.

Tip: If you're interested in specific companies and they have open positions that your CV could get you to the interview, apply, even if it's not ideal for you. The interview is a conversation where you can negotiate.


4. Poor interview preparation

According to Ford R. Myers, a world award-winning Career Coach, all job interviews consist of five key elements:

  • the representation of your value (self-awareness),
  • your knowledge of the company, beyond what is presented on the website,
  • asking smart questions,
  • the negotiation of compensation and
  • following up after the interview

The self-awareness questions are the 60% of the questions in an interview and is the reason why most candidates fail because they have researched the company but don't know how to answer questions such as:

  • Why choose you and not someone else
  • Where you see yourself 5 years from now
  • What is your biggest failure

Tip 1: Whether you pass an exam depends on how well you studied beforehand, and the same goes for the interview. Don't assume you have the answers in your head, sit down and write on paper before you go to the interview. It will greatly reduce your anxiety.

Sybmoulis 2: Utilize websites such as Glassdoor to find information about the business that is not listed on their website.

>> Webinar: Learn how to prepare properly for a successful interview <<

5. Incorrect management of Social Media in the job search

The 90% of employers, if they like your CV before they invite you for an interview they'll Google your name. If the only thing that comes up is Facebook or Instagram you're already 5 points down. LinkedIn should come up first, then all other Social Media. Also, be aware that there are several ways you can lose your job through Facebook if you're not careful!!!!

Let's now move on to the content. Simply having LinkedIn is not enough. I see profiles that are incomplete, without a photo, inactive...in short "abandoned". If you don't know how, ask someone who knows how to help you build a good LinkedIn profiles and make good use of it in your job search.

Facebook...Where to start with the mistakes being made here. You go out with your friends and post an "innocent" photo as you're having fun with alcohol in hand to show everyone how much fun you're having. You make a racist comment on a post that you think "okay who's going to see that". EVERYONE SEES IT. Everything you do on the Internet stays ONLINE FOREVER. There is a saying that employers use:

 "LinkedIn opens doors for work and Facebook closes them."

Tip 1: The image you project on Social Media is the 2ο evaluation stage, after the CV. Delete photos and posts that project a not-so-professional image. Build your LinkedIn by seeing good examples from others.

Tip 2: Social Media is your Personal Branding online. Decide what image you want others to have of you and follow a common thread across all media.

6. You don't follow a search plan

Finding a job is a job in itself and should be approached systematically. There are many people who send out 20 applications in one day and spend the rest of the week waiting. This is not the solution. Create a plan of which companies you want to approach, find the contact person, not just in your head, use tools like excel to track the progress of your applications. You need to create a system to make sure that every day for say 1 hour, you are submitting applications, building your network online and in person.

Don't forget to follow up after your application. If the ad tells you the deadline for them to contact you then wait until then. If it doesn't say anything, you can give the company a call after 7 days to ask what stage your application is at. In multinationals the CV assessment can take up to 4 weeks.

Tip: Create an excel tool to keep track of your applications and update it daily. Note the dates you apply, follow up phone calls and general deadlines presented in the ad. Write down the names and emails of the relevant recruiters.

Correct these 6 mistakes and your chances in your job search will increase dramatically.

I understand that this process can be very frustrating but don't be disappointed if you don't get positive responses. You may meet all the criteria for a position just the competition that applied may have something extra.

"The hardest thing about job searching is not taking rejection personally. If you can do that, you'll have more strength in your goal."

But you may meet all the criteria but not present a good image on your CV, in the interview or on Social Media. That's when you need to take it personally and improve your professional image.

More articles in "Job Search":
8 Ways to Find a Job in 2020
Survivor Guide to Surviving the Job Market
Discover the hidden labour market yourself

Related material:
Career Change Guide (eBook)
Survival Guide to the Labour Market (eBook)
8 ways to get a job today (eBook)

Related services:
Job Search Techniques
Self-Awareness Program (Ikigai)
Professional Identity Enhancement Service
Individual Counselling Sessions Service
Interview Preparation Service

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