Searching for a job can be an arduous process, and it can become demoralising if it goes on for a long time.
Staying positive is half the battle. Instead of letting rejected job applications get you down, try to use them as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
To make things a little easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of common job search mistakes you should try to avoid.
Searching in the same old places
Online job listings are a good place to start in your job search – but remember that everyone else will start here too.
Hiring managers are often inundated with applications after posting jobs online, making each applicant less likely to be noticed.
Be proactive in your job search by making a list of companies you’d like to work for, and contacting them to express your interest.
This will show that you’re enthusiastic and serious about working with them, and put you on their radar should any vacancies arise.
Recommendations and referrals from contacts are another great way to sidestep the competition – so put out feelers wherever you can.
Applying for every job you find
Don’t spread yourself too thin when applying for jobs, or you may end up losing focus.
Only apply for the jobs you really want, and take your time over the applications. Five brilliant applications will give you a better chance of success than 20 mediocre ones.
What’s more, hiring managers will probably be able to tell if your heart’s not really in it. Nothing is more off-putting for employers than an applicant who hasn’t done their research and isn’t enthusiastic.
Using a standard CV for every job
Hiring managers will be able to spot a generic CV a mile off. Again, sending out a standard CV will suggest to employers that you don’t really care about the job.
Tailor your CV to the job description for each individual job you apply for. You don’t have to completely overhaul your CV every time – a few small tweaks should do the trick.
Failing to communicate a clear message
Hiring managers want to know about the specific skills, experience and attributes that make you perfect for the job. They don’t want to know about everything you’ve ever done.
Craft your CV and covering letter carefully to demonstrate how you can add value to the company.
Consider what would make a hiring manager excited to learn more about you, and illustrate these points with concrete examples.
Focusing solely on looking for a job
In the midst of a long job search, it can feel like finding a job is the most important thing in the world – but don’t lose sight of the other important things in your life.
Make sure you give yourself time to see friends and family and do the things you enjoy. Get out of the house every day, eat well and exercise.
You could try doing some volunteering or learning a new skill. Not only would this take your mind off your job search, it might give you something else to add to your CV.
Not having an online presence
These days it’s fairly common practice for hiring managers to check potential employees’ social media profiles during the hiring process.
Not only that, but a whopping 92% of employers use social media to find job candidates.
In light of this statistic, it’s obvious that failing to have an online presence could potentially hurt your chances of finding a job.
At the very least, you should have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, and employer-friendly social media pages.
Twitter is a great platform for displaying your industry knowledge and connecting with influencers in your field. Post relevant content regularly to demonstrate your expertise and passion.
Taking rejection personally
Most job seekers will come up against their fair share of rejection – it’s rare to be offered the first job you apply for.
An important part of staying positive is learning to accept rejection. Ask for feedback, and act on it for future job applications.
In theory, the longer your job search goes on, the better you should become at looking for jobs – so think of rejection as an opportunity to learn and develop.
If you steer clear of these common mistakes we’re sure you’ll be interviewing soon – here’s how to prepare!