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In today’s job climate, getting hired isn’t easy. However, many jobseekers make it harder for themselves by continuously making big mistakes during the application process. Here are just a few common mistakes to avoid when jobhunting.
Only applying to vacancies
Just because a company isn’t advertising vacancies doesn’t mean you can’t still ask them for a job. Some of the most competitive companies never advertise vacancies because people are always sending applications through – with so many applicants coming to them, they may never need to post an advert. It’s also possible that a company may be thinking of hiring new staff, in which case you can get in there early by applying before they’ve had a chance to advertise. Simply find the companies you want to work for and start contacting their employers directly either by email or phone. You’ll feel as if you’ve got a lot more freedom not having to reply solely to ads – you can craft the application the way you want to and apply to the roles you want.
Lying on your application
Lying about your identity or your past experience on your CV to a potential employer is never a good move. Nowadays, many employers use an identity verification service to check that an applicant is who they say they are – this makes it harder to get away with lying. If anything, you’ll feel terrible for lying and won’t feel that you’ve achieved anything if you do end up getting hired as it will all be based on false merit.
Lying about your identity or your past experience on your CV to a potential employer is never a good move.Tweet This
Providing too much information
Whilst you shouldn’t lie on your CV, that doesn’t mean you should be open about everything. Too much information will bore employers who may only have time to skim-read through your application. Try to focus on providing key information that is going to appeal to your employer. You don’t need to list every grade you go at school – only your best grades – just as you don’t have to list every temp job and voluntary position you’ve ever had – only the most relevant past jobs. Don’t be afraid to make use of infographics and bullet points so that your application isn’t just a wall of text.
Giving no evidence of skills
It’s also possible to give too little information. Cliched jargon such as ‘good team player’, ‘hardworking’ and ‘creative’ are terms that employers hear all the time when recruiting and they’ve become meaningless on their own – you’re much better off giving examples of why you possess these skills. For example, if you used to be captain of a football team at school, you could use this to support the fact that you have ‘leadership skills’. Reorganising the stock cupboard at your old workplace to make it more efficient meanwhile could show ‘organisational skills’ and ‘intuition’. You only need to focus on a few of your key skills – ideally the ones that you think will appeal to the employer most.
Not securing references
References can help employers to trust you more by providing proof that you’re a great person to work with. Try to secure references from past employers and influential people in your life so that you can offer these to employers if they request them. You could even create a digital portfolio and list your references as testimonials.
Dressing inappropriately for the interview
When it comes to the interview, dressing the part is important. Obviously, you don’t want to dress too informally – this will give the impression that you’re not serious about the role. However, you also don’t want to overdress for the role – wearing a suit to a job interview at a hip design company might make you come across as too conservative for the role. Always ask about the dress code beforehand so that you know exactly how to compose yourself.
“Cover letters might sound like that last thing you want to produce, especially in an age when all it takes to apply for a job is a few clicks. Nevertheless, when most candidates share a common background, your cover letter can make the difference between another resume in the pile and a promising candidate. Your cover letter is necessary; it is designed to catch the attention of a recruiter. ” – 8 Things That Differentiate You From Other Candidates
Not following up
Once you’ve had your interview, make sure to follow up if you don’t hear anything in the next few days. Following up after an interview shows that you’re keen and an employer could be more likely to look upon you favourably. Obviously, you shouldn’t keep harassing an employer to find out if you’ve been hired, but a single follow-up generally won’t hurt.