It is hard to evaluate just exactly how tough, exhausting, and competitive job searching can be until you’re already there! December and May graduates are beginning to get a taste of the job-hunting experience as commencement ceremonies are right around the corner. As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” When discussing job-seeking techniques, there is no exact equation for how to score the perfect position but many mistakes can be avoided during this pursuit. So, instead of a job-hunter’s how to, we’re providing what NOT to do!
Don’t think you’re cover letter is a waste of time!
- Don’t assume an employer won’t read it so you don’t need one. An employer may or may not read your cover letter, but applicants should always provide one with their application.
Don’t go crazy with your creativity on a resume.
- Depending on your field, you may get away with a unique font or cool graphic, but it is safe to say that hot pink, scented paper will very quickly make its way to the trash bin.
You’re not too good for networking.
- Applicant sometimes mistake that their resumes are so fantastic that their skills alone will score them a position…WRONG! The market is competitive, so making industry connections is crucial. Social media simplifies this process, but it doesn’t eliminate in-person interactions. More than 60 percent of positions result in networking, not online searches, so share your “elevator pitch” with everyone! Remember, networking opportunities can be quickly ruined by asking “Do you have a job for me?”
Don’t be too general.
- Too often applicants’ skills are broadly displayed to employers, and today, companies want to know a person’s specialties. Let a company know exactly what you can offer to their workplace.
Don’t give too much.
- Employers won’t read your resume; they will quickly scan the document. Extraneous words and elaborated paragraphs should be cut down to well-organized bulleted list to ensure your accomplishments are reviewed.
Don’t lose your target.
- A job search is never about you needing the job; it is about what the company is looking for. Be prepared by knowing the position well and being able to present your experiences to grab their attention, make it about them!
Your communication methods aren’t perfect.
- Some people do not possess amazing communication skills, so it is important to make improvements in the areas that are lacking. Evaluate the areas for attention, commit to making adjustments, and practices the skill with friends, career centers, or groups.
Job searching isn’t a part-time position.
- To ensure a successful job search, you must put in the long hours! Spending less than 10 hours a week on the process may not result in much feedback. You have to make a goal and figure out the time required to reach that goal. An applicant wanting to secure a position in six weeks figured that he needed to have one meeting a day, which required 50-100 calls per day!
Don’t do it alone.
- It is easy to get discouraged during your searching, so build a group of fellow job-seekers to meet weekly to discuss progress and procedures to provide support and structure to the process.