Five Frequent Job-Hunting Mistakes
When it comes to job-hunting, the rules have changed dramatically in recent years, and following outdated advice could cost you a job. No matter how old you are, make sure that you’re following modern guidelines when searching for work — and don’t make these five mistakes.
1. Your resume and cover letter are way too formal: While it’s better to err on the side of formality to avoid seeming too casual about your application, it’s very easy to go overboard. Skip the stodgy objective statement on your resume and replace the “To Whom It May Concern” on your cover letter with the hiring manager’s name, which will take research. Let your personality to shine through in your words by using active, energetic language while still maintaining a professional tone.
2. You’re looking for work in all the wrong places: Up until a few years ago, job-hunters were fairly limited when it came to finding work. They’d peruse the classified ads over their morning coffee, ask friends for leads, or even go door-to-door dropping off their resume. Tapping into your network is still a valuable way to find a job, but now there are many more modern methods for searching. Besides aggregated job boards like Indeed and SimplyHired that search jobs nationwide, job-hunters can focus their search on sites that are more specific to their area and industry. It’s a good idea to set email alerts for jobs in your field as soon as you begin your search so you’ll find out about opportunities as soon as they’re posted. Social media is also a great resource — follow your favorite companies and brands on Twitter and LinkedIn to find out about opportunities early on.
3. You’re a paper pusher: There was a time that paper resumes were preferable — and the more expensive the paper, the more impressive you seemed. That time has long passed. Iit’s always good to have one on hand when walking into an interview, but digital resumes are now the norm. In fact, some employers might be annoyed at the paper pileup caused by your resume, cover letter and any work samples.
4. You’re too thorough: Depending on what stage you’re at in your career, you may have more jobs than you can fit on one page. This doesn’t mean that you should bump it up to a four-page epic. Instead, consider the job you’re applying for and choose the positions that are most relevant to include on your resume. Use the interview to expand upon your experience, rather than cluttering up your resume. That leads me to my final point…
5. You only have one resume: It would certainly be easier to have just one resume that you send in with all of your job applications, but that’s not necessarily the smartest move anymore. Today’s job market is tremendously competitive, and having a resume that’s tailored to a specific position will significantly up your chances of getting noticed. Does the job require social media savvy? Emphasize the work you’ve done in that area. Is management a huge part of the position? Be sure to highlight any management experience you have.
Michelle Kruse is a recruitment expert and career advisor with over a decade of experience. Starting her career in modeling and acting, she transitioned into recruitment and career coaching. She has been a pivotal figure at ResumeEdge for over 10 years, where she oversees hiring, provides training, manages partnerships, and offers guidance on the job search process.