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Resource: Career Advice
8 Job-Searching Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Career
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's becoming more common for people who put in the effort in their job searches to not get any takers without knowing why.

Usually, this is because seekers are repeating mistakes they are unaware of. Unless these errors are corrected, they won't see any change in the rate of rejections. They're easily fixable, but are sometimes hard to remember avoiding. Take it one step at a time and don't rush the job searching process. The goal is to make each attempt count, not to lose count of each attempt.

Here are some common mistakes made in a typical job search:

1) Taking outdated advice.

There's being traditional and there's being a thing of the past. Job searching conventions have changed with technological advances and are continually evolving. Professionals who started their careers decades ago haven't had to keep up with new approaches to job searching so the advice they give might not be as beneficial. Some of the best places to look are online job sites and from people who have recently done a lot of hiring themselves.

2) Neglecting accomplishments.

The habit that so many job hunters have a hard time breaking is just listing job duties on their resumes. Employers don't need to know what types of tasks were expected of you. More than likely, they'll already know. Stick to listing things that you did well consistently as well as any notable achievements you made at your last place of employment. They want to see what kind of worker you are and the contributions you made to the company.

3) Getting carried away.

A resume should be a brief list explaining your capabilities, accomplishments and interests. It's meant to be an introduction--usually condensed to a page or two--but those who turn their resumes into a biography are the first to get tossed. Even though you should be as detailed as possible, these details should refer to experiences that pertain to the most important experiences. The only experiences you should include in your resume are those that highlight you as an excellent employee and can be related to the position you're applying for.

4) Leaving out the cover letter.

These are just as important as a resume. No resume should be sent without a cover letter. The cover letter adds your voice to your resume and makes the interaction with the reader a little more personaland direct. Cover letters that can communicate well with the hiring manager and showing individuality to stand out. The candidates that stand out from the crowd are those that usually get the job. The time and precision that goes into a resume should also be put into a cover letter. Limit your use of generic cover letters as each should be written specifically for the potential company/hiring manager.

5) Pestering employers with follow-up.

Showing an active interest can easily become annoying for an employer. Imagine all the resume follow-ups they receive and then double it. You can easily change the hiring manager's sentiment of you if you call or email too much. Simply remind them of you and and wait for them to make the next move.

6) Showing up to interviews unprepared.

As humans, we expect our little mistakes to be forgiven but it's these same little mistakes that are actually hurting your chances of getting a job. Most hiring managers won't make a big deal if you forget to bring a resume, didn't make enough copies, or whatever else. They'll simply make note of it and rush you out so they can move on to the next prepared candidate. You want to make sure that you've done everything right on your part so that even if another candidate was more qualified you may have a good chance of getting hired.

7) Standing out in the wrong way.

While you want to stand out from the rest of the candidates, you don't want it to be for the wrong reasons. For example, don't stray too far away from conventions by sending in video resumes or even treats. Hiring managers are professionals and don't appreciate gimmicks. Interviews and jobs are given based on merit, not flattery or being over the top. Doing so can have an adverse affect and leave the hiring manager unimpressed and exasperated.

8) Have reliable references.

References above all should be trackable. Don't give hiring managers old numbers that may have since changed or to people who can only be reached at strict hours. Your references should act as your back up, but if you can't keep track of them the hiring manager sure isn't going to hunt them down. Provide references are not just co-workers but people who worked above you, they'll have more influential say on your performance.