Common mistakes of job hunters

After getting many inquiries recent months about job search, CVS and interviews, I spotted a few repetitive mistakes  among job hunters:

  • Neglecting your network

“Should I tell my ex-colleague that I am actively looking? What would he/she say if they see I don’t’ have a job??”

You don’t imagine how many people ask me if they should tell anybody they are looking for a job or if they should join any business events.

Sadly still many people are ashamed when they lost their job or when they would like to change.

You should never be ashamed – whichever reasons you have, you can always ask for advice, referral or help. I always quote my friend “When you don’t ask, you don’t get”. NETWORKING is crucial in every job hunt. Talk to your trusted friends or ex-colleagues that you are looking. Ask those who have experience about some advice. People who work in companies that may be interesting for you, can be used as your referral. From more formal things – participate in business events where you can meet people who can potentially help you. Never ever be ashamed of networking!

Just as an example from my job hunt – a few years ago I tried to change from recruitment to training activities. I sent a few spontaneous applications to the universities with my profile and explanation why I was passionate about teaching. I was skeptical about spontaneous emails but the feedbacks I received surprised me – 2 recruiters sent me some links where I can find jobs related to teaching which I still check. One gave me a quick call and assured I should still benefit from my training experience in every new job. He was even interested in e-learning software I am using. As you can see networking is a mutual benefit for everybody 🙂

  • Sending your CV everywhere

An extreme is to send your CV to everybody, including sourced that you have not checked properly. If you do it, you risk being sent to the roles that you would never apply.  If you would like to apply through an agency, talk to a few of them but choose 1 or 2 that you have a good relationship with, people you trust. If you are applying whilst still working, tell your recruiter(s) if they should not contact your current employer.

  • Not planning

This leads us to another point which is proper job search planning. When looking for a new job, you will be using different portals, agencies or network. Write down all roles, companies and people you contacted. This tracker will allow you to control your job search more and to avoid an awkward situation of… forgetting where you applied 🙂

Even before you start looking for a new job, it is very important to make a list of companies you are interested in, people who can help you in expanding your network, list of roles you would like to apply for, training/certificates that you are missing in order to change your career path and list of your referrals that can recommend you during your search. Proper planning before looking for jobs will allow you to find your next role more efficiently.

  • Not following up

“I had my interview 2 months ago, should I check with them what the status is?”

The answer is yes and the question is why did you wait for 2 months. Again, following up after the interviews or even an application is a part of networking. Even if the feedback is negative, you don’t risk anything by asking and you can win a lot. When following up, you can use this time to introduce quickly yourself and to be remembered. Even if they were not interested in your profile or they rejected you after the interview, you can find out how to improve next time or even have a short discussion about the market and other options. And remember to have a good timing – don’t wait too long but also do not be too pushy by calling recruiters 4 times every week 🙂

  • Sending the same CV/cover letter for every role

When looking for jobs, always remember t adapt your profile to jobs you are looking for. I personally have a few CVs: focused on recruitment, on training, on project coordination and admin. When looking for jobs, you should always adapt and use skillets that can be useful in a particular role. Moreover, read about the company before applying so you will not be surprised when they call you or if they ask you why you chose to apply to their company during the interview.

  • Using only traditional online adverts

When applying, you should always diversify your job hunt. Don’t focus only on online adverts. Use different portals, choose 1-2 agencies, talk/expand your network, do spontaneous applications. use LinkedIn… Your options are very large.

  • Not appreciating your knowledge and work achievements

When reading CVs or practicing for interviews, I realize that many people do not know how to sell themselves and do not appreciate what they did in their career. Lots of people do not give examples of projects that they participated in or training content they created. Recruiters do not know what you are doing. Even if something is obvious for you, don’t be shy – explain in the CV and during interview processes you created, tell them about your career achievements, show they solutions you proposed to problems you encountered. Appreciate your knowledge – only then your potential employer will appreciate you 🙂

  • Accepting anything

I heard many times “Kasia, I am looking for anything and anywhere, please help.” Anything is a forbidden word in my dictionary.

As you should appreciate your skills and respect yourself, don’t accept everything that you find on the market. If there are jobs that during the recruitment process turned out not to be in liaison with your skills or that are not as interesting for you, don’t be afraid to reject them or renegotiate conditions – of course in a nice manner as the network you are created during your job hunt is priceless 🙂

  • Stopping job search

Job hunting is very tricky and networking is very challenging. Job search or job market analysis should never stop, even if currently you have a job. We are afraid of being rejected – nobody likes to learn that somebody from your network will not be eager to recommend you or that the interviewer did not like your profile. Learn from rejection to improve.  And remember Chris Bradford’s saying – “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” Happy Job Hunting! 🙂

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