Even with unemployment at one of the lowest rates in the last decade, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll snag a job without trouble. Job searchers often make common and avoidable mistakes that prevent them from getting interviews in the first place or succeeding in the interview process.
Keep reading for some of these common mistakes you may not realize you’re making.
Using the Same Resume for Every Job
Using the same resume for every application is tempting, but also hamstrings you. Each resume should get customized for the specific company. Why? Most businesses use something called an applicant tracking system. It looks for matches between phrases on the job listing and phrases in your resume. Too few matches and your resume gets rejected.
Takeaway: Take the time to customize.
Many people despise the idea of networking. On the surface, it feels like using people to get a job. Real networking is about building relationships that have the potential for benefits on both sides. Why is this so important? Around 80% of jobs never end up on a job site. They get filled by internal promotions or referrals from current employees’ networks.
You’re Not Sure What Job You Want
While you shouldn’t focus too narrowly, you should have a clear idea of what kind of job you want. At the very least, you should have a few job titles in mind. This lets you identify potential positions more quickly and speak confidently about the roles in interviews.
Takeaway: If you don’t know what job you want, you’ll struggle to sell any interviewer on hiring you.
Typos on your resume can kill your chances of getting an interview. It’s not the typo itself, but the message it sends. Typos suggest you don’t pay attention to the details or don’t care enough to have someone check your work. Neither of these things makes someone want to hire you.
You Don’t Ask for the Job
Interviewers are only human. That means they can develop doubts that have nothing to do with the facts in front of them. Let’s say you get distracted for a moment by the buzzing from a fluorescent light. The interviewer may interpret that as you not wanting the job. Always make sure that you tell the interviewer that you want the job before you leave the room.
Takeaway: Saying you want the job can remove any question in the interviewer’s mind about your seriousness.
While you probably can’t avoid every possible mistake in your job search, you can avoid some of the most common ones. Sidestepping these mistakes puts you in a much better position to get the interview and get the job.
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