The job market is improving steadily, and the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in years. For those who are still unemployed, or looking for a new job, finding work could be difficult if you are committing one of the following mistakes. Optimizing your job search efforts is the key to success. Unemployment can be a real hindrance, and government unemployment benefits only last so long. If you’ve been applying and applying but still can’t land a job, then take a step back and analyze your mistakes. A few simple fixes will get you back on track. Consider these common mistakes and make a solid effort to rectify them.
1.) Resume Needs Updating
Even if a certain resume format landed you a job in the past, you need to constantly make corrections and improvements. Your resume is one of the first things a hiring manager will see, so you want to make an excellent “first impression.” One of the best ways to improve your resume is to keyword optimize it. Typically online job postings are highly competitive, and human resources departments use keyword scanners to weed out the unqualified candidates. For each job you are applying for, you need to make tweaks to your resume in order to beat the scanning software and land an interview. Using the shotgun effect (applying to as many jobs as possible) might not be the most effective strategy. Focus on the jobs you are actually qualified for.
2.) Bad Interviewer
A successful interview is the key to landing a job. The hiring manager needs to be certain that you are a good fit for the organization. This means having an excellent appearance, great hygiene, nice clothes, no visible tattoos, and a smile on your face. This might seem shallow, but it’s a reality. Hiring mangers make decisions based on these opinions. However, having a good appearance only wins you half of the battle. Prepare yourself for the flurry of questions you might receive and learn as much as you can about the company before the interview. Maybe even consider a mock interview with one of your friends or relatives. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. A bad interview can be a deal breaker.
If you come into an interview reeking like smoke, or the hiring manager / potential coworkers see you lighting one up outside, it will negatively impact your chances. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but it can definitely hurt your chances. The simple fact is that smokers take more breaks throughout the day, get sick more often, and if you are in a customer facing role it can be off-putting to customers or potential clients. Do yourself a favor and cut out the smoking.
4.) Cannot Follow Instructions
Sometimes hiring managers will include special instructions in the job application. Be aware of them and carry out whatever is asked. If you ignore instructions, it will tell the hiring manager that you are not capable of following simple tasks. After all, this interviewer is your potential boss, and if you are making simple mistakes then what should he expect from you as a future employee?
5.) Lack of Networking Skills
In today’s job market it’s important to focus on building your professional network. Be visible on LinkedIn and make sure your profile is up to date. See if you have any old contacts that can verify your work skills or provide a reference. Being visible on professional networks will help your chances because it will show your potential employer that you have nothing to hide. Just make sure that all of your profiles are clean and free of any pictures that might damage your application.