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It goes without saying that just a few critical mistakes during the job search and interview process separate a successful job seeker from one that fails. These mistakes are so few and so small that we tend to ignore them. But remember, they can easily change the outcome of your job search.
This article highlights some those mistakes that are the most evident. Keep these in mind the next time you apply for a job. After all, we all learn things from our mistakes and sometimes from others.
Suggested Reading:The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search
1) You Apply for Jobs that Don’t Match Your Experience or Skills:
One critical factor that will decide your success during your job search process is how well you evaluate your experience and skills. Both underestimating and overestimating yourself can lead to failures. A great way to evaluate yourself is to research current industry standards and compare them with your skills. Compare your resume to those of your peers and job descriptions. Prior to negotiating salary and perks, research what other similarly placed individuals earn. And yes, you can always fix your worth when there is a shortage of talent or skill set that you possess.
2) Never Show Your Desperation:
There is nothing more stressful than being unemployed but it is critical that you do not let stress come through as desperation during the interview process, no matter how badly you are in need of a job. You should come across as confident in your experience and as a disciplined decision maker. Be prepared, understand the job description and be prepared to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job. Carry yourself in a balanced way, over confidence could be dangerous as well.
3) Do Your Research:
Sending your resume / application to everybody without a hint about the company’s reputation, products and market is a sheer waste of time. There are tons of resources available to conduct research on both companies and interviewers. Study a company or seek help from friends, relatives or recruiting agencies to ensure the company is a good fit. See How to Answer the 10 Most Challenging Interview Questions
4) Don’t Mass Mail or Apply to Everything:
It’s so easy to send your resume to hundreds of companies and recruiters. It’s also tempting to apply on job search sites to every job that is remotely associated with your experience. This will never work simply because companies receive so many mails on a routine basis and a common mail could be easily ignored.
Instead, focus your search and response to those opportunities that closely align with your experience and skills. Use company career sites to post your resume in a way that will identify you for roles that meet your background.
5) Send Error Free Resumes and Cover Letters
There is nothing that will get your resume discarded more quickly than errors. There is really no excuse these days for sending a resume (or any document for that matter) that has misspellings or grammatical errors. Spell check has been around forever and most word processing programs include a grammar checker. Read your resume several times before sending. The best piece of advice is to get someone to proofread it for you.
6) Keep the Salary Negotiation to the End
If at all possible, try to keep the topic of compensation to when you actually get a job offer. If the topic comes up during the interview, indicate that you are looking to get fairly compensated with the potential for future increases in compensation. While there are many factors when considering a job offer, one of the key drivers is how much compensation you are offered. While your job title, responsibilities and career track are also key considerations, you still need money to pay the bills and put food on the table. After you find your job, the one that really motivates you, the money comes next. And, if you are like most people, you want to be paid what you’re worth. While we are only worth what the market will pay, there are ways to maximize your compensation.
Of course if you don’t know what you are worth it’s hard to know. So what are you worth? Do you know? Well you should know before you get the job offer. Salary guides and salary search tools are helpful. Like everything on the Internet these days, you could spend days (maybe weeks) researching salary.
Career Tip of the Day: Salary Negotiation – Do You Know How Much You’re Worth?