Are you sabotaging yourself without knowing it? Most job seekers set out on a path to find a new job and don’t really know or understand all that is involved – what is considered acceptable protocol – what should be avoided, etc.
Are you making these mistakes?
Listing job duties and not achievements.Stand out resumes showcase experience with accomplishments, skills and talents. Results are what the reader really wants to see.
Listing every job you’ve ever had. Think of the resume as a marketing tool. Marketing pieces talk about the product (you) in a quick read format whetting the appetite of the reader to want to know more. List last 12-15 years experience.
No cover letter/enote. Even with a large portion of online submissions today, there is usually a request or space in the online application for a cover letter. And knowing that about 50% of cover letters get read, it is still good practice to submit one. An enote is a shorter more concise version of a cover letter and fits well in online submissions.
Not sending a thank you note. Protocol still dictates that a thank you note is in order after an interview. It gives you an opportunity to confirm interest in the job, identify matching skills, and more. Spend a some time writing one and send it as soon after the interview as possible.
Not practicing responses for interview. You may not know the exact questions you will be asked at any interview, but you can practice your responses. Have about a dozen examples from your experience that demonstrate why you are a good match for this job (leadership, management, team player, etc.)
Losing track of references. Keep in touch with the people you have listed on your reference sheet. People move, retire, or change contact information. Save yourself the hassle of tracking them down at the last minute.
Watch for danger signs. One thing you can do is check out the parking lot of the prospective company during morning and evening commute. Do the people seem happy and friendly going to and coming from work? Don’t be so anxious to be re-employed that you ignore red flags (hostile managers, high employee turnover, etc.).
Being a follow-up nag. By all means check back with the employer to identify where you are in the hiring process, be considerate, and don’t be annoying with constant calls and emails. Keep in mind you are not the only one checking in. There could be 300 or so other candidates and that creates a massive amount of emails and phone calls for the employer to address.
Never assume. So you didn’t get the job offer this time, or the recruiter didn’t call you back in a week. Don’t walk away thinking it was something you did wrong. Sometimes the process just takes longer than expected, or the decision maker goes on vacation. Hang in there.
Don’t take anything personally. Job searching is frustrating and by assuming you’ve lost the job because…. or you have the job because…. only adds to the frustration. There are many factors that recruiters consider when hiring a job seeker, all or none of which you have control over.
Keep these mistakes in mind as you progress in your job search. Try to have a positive outlook. It will help you get through this challenging period.