Sometimes having a good combination of circumstances is enough to get hired by your dream company. But more often, finding a job is also a job. There are many stumbling blocks between looking through job offers and making initial contact with the employer of your choice.
The most common sources of error are poor preparation, an inaccurate selection of job advertisements, and the lack of relevance of application documents. Here, in this article, we will discuss the mistakes job seekers make when looking for a workplace and how you can avoid them.
1. You narrow your search too much
The modern job search is done almost exclusively via the Internet. No wonder, because the choice here is great and the applicant can look for a suitable position worldwide.
But don’t limit yourself to one search approach. See if there are job offers near you. Another possibility: An industry event in the field in which you are looking for a new job. Visit such events and diligently shake hands to build networks that may later lead to new career opportunities.
This way, you expand your professional network and thus increase the chance of getting an attractive job offer through a personal recommendation. You can also utilize specific resources like Leadar that will help you choose the right professionals and decision-makers to collaborate with.
2. The CV is incorrectly addressed
In times of online applications, in which applicants can send a CV anytime and anywhere with a few simple clicks, big mistakes happen again and again.
Precisely because this application process is so quick and easy, there are a lot of errors here. Be careful with an addressee and include the correct documents when sending them out. Besides, create a separate, new application for each job advertisement and each employer. Anyone who sends universal cover letters to a large number of different employers hardly has a chance of being really convincing to anyone.
Individuality in the cover letter begins with addressing. Also, always name the correct contact person. Entering the correct address but mentioning the HR manager of another company in the salutation is an absolute no-go.
3. The CV is not up-to-date or incomplete
Before you send your CV to the desired employer, ensure that it contains up-to-date information regarding you and your work experience. Check the following data: Are the phone number and address still correct? Have you mentioned current successful projects from your last job? Does the date on the CV match the date on the cover letter?
However, being up-to-date is not the only reason why the CV should be given additional attention. To catch a recruiter’s eye, you may add visual effects to your resume. Illustrate your level of expertise using bar or pie charts. Knowing and applying this trend is not a must, but it shows that you know what is currently in demand, which in turn can be an important hiring criterion for some jobs.
4. Your cover letter looks familiar to the recruiter
Sample applications on the internet are a dime a dozen. So, the probability that a recruiter knows them all is pretty low, don’t you think? Wrong thought. Trained personnel managers notice the adoption of individual text modules from sample applications and templates.
Keep in mind: Only a cover letter that is individually tailored to a potential employer and shows why you are the perfect fit for the advertised position can get you into the next round of applicants.
However, if a cover letter does not show to what extent you and the job offer “match” because only basic phrases and generally applicable formulations were used, the probability of being invited to an interview is rather low.
5. Don’t forget to market yourself
What is it that makes you different from other applicants? Which of your skills and qualifications make you the perfect candidate for the advertised position?
Work out an argumentation structure and convince the reader of your application that you are the ideal candidate for the company. This also includes a little self-marketing.
When marketing yourself, make sure that you only disclose information that is relevant to the job offer. If you sound too self-confident and arrogant, you will attract negative attention. So don’t indulge in self-praising, just list relevant knowledge.
6. Your qualifications do not match the requirements
A major pitfall is ignoring important information in a job ad. If your qualifications do not match the requirements of a company, then it usually makes no sense to apply. However, this does not refer to skills and knowledge that are “only” desired. Desired qualifications bring an advantage but are not a prerequisite for employment.
7. Social media stumbling block
Even before you start sending off applications, you should google yourself. What can be found about you? Delete photos that could harm your career and be careful about the images you share with the public.
A supposedly funny party photo does not show the HR manager that you are sociable but rather makes them doubt your seriousness. Therefore, it is advisable to check your digital fingerprint.
8. Do you actually know who you are applying to?
You did it — your application documents were convincing. During the interview, you now want to prove that you are the best candidate for this job. But then questions like “What do you particularly like about our products/services and what would you do differently?” or “Why do you want to work for our company in particular?” might stop you from getting an offer.
Failure to respond suggests that you are poorly prepared for the job interview. The potential employer will definitely not have the feeling that you are very interested in working for them.
9. Mistakes in a salary negotiation
During the interview, the topic of salary comes up. If you are asked to state your salary expectations, you should have given this figure plenty of thought in advance.
If you name a salary proposal that is too low, this can be taken as an indication that you do not see yourself as qualified enough for the position and could also start the job with a lot of uncertainty and ignorance. If the number is too high, you can easily be accused of arrogance. To ensure that neither happens, you should deal with this topic thoroughly and research what salary ranges you can expect in the desired position.
10. You don’t have a professional network
If you are looking for a job change in a specific industry, then you should know which employers dominate it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you are familiar with this or that name. Start building a professional network as early as possible. Such contacts can provide you with exciting job offers. What is more, after you are recommended internally by your contact, your application may even automatically be shortlisted. Expand your network constantly and maintain good contacts. With a bit of luck, they can open many doors for you.