While the ghosts and gore of Halloween may be over for this year, it’s still a frightful time for many job seekers. There’s endless applications to contend with, and that scary black hole your resume never returns from -- not to mention stressful interviews to prepare for.
The scariest thing of all, however, can be missing out on an opportunity because you failed to avoid a common job hunt-pitfall. Just like any good haunted house, a job search has tons of obstacles and turns along the way. The less savvy job seeker can easily fall into one of these traps and never recover.
1. You Said What On Social Media?
Social media can be a smart tool for finding great positions and connecting with hiring managers. But like many tools, it can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Social media can really hurt if you don’t know how to harness its power.
How To Avoid This Mistake: Watch what you say on your social media channels at all times. If you’re about to post something inappropriate, pause for a second and ask what you’ll gain by hitting send. If it’s not something you’d feel comfortable saying in a work environment or a professional setting, don’t put it up on your social media profile. After all, a recent survey showed 92 percent of recruiters check out a candidate’s social media footprint. Make sure your social media profiles are leading somewhere positive.
2. What’s a Tailored Resume?
If you’re not tailoring your resume, you’re in trouble. An untailored resume tells employers you don’t care enough to take the time out to let them see your most relevant accomplishments. If you’re submitting your resume to an applicant tracking system (ATS) you’re basically throwing it into a black hole if you haven’t added keywords.
How To Avoid This Mistake: Always tailor your resume for every position you apply for. If you don’t have time, then you are applying for too many jobs. Focus on the jobs you really want, not just the jobs you’d be willing to take. Make sure to look at the job description for keywords the ATS will pick up.
3. Who Needs to Stand Out From the Pack?
You’ve sent in your resume, now it’s time to just kick back your feet and wait for the interview offers to come rolling in. Not so fast. With more job seekers flooding the market than ever before, you need to stand out from the pack to land your dream job.
How To Avoid This Mistake: You need to set yourself apart from the pack to be memorable to hiring managers. Develop a comprehensive and impressive online work portfolio. Or maybe make your resume into an infographic to catch an employer’s eye. You can even enhance your traditional resume by recording a video resume. On video you can show off your personality and communication skills, and make a lasting impression. Whatever you do, think outside the box in order to get noticed by today’s overtaxed employers.
4. Networking? What’s Networking?
You’ve applied for the job, you’ve recorded a video resume, you’ve cleaned up your social media profiles ... what more can you do? Networking is the answer. Candidates who decide networking isn’t necessary to their success are missing out on developing a strong circle of contacts. These contacts can lead to hidden job opportunities you’ll never know about if you don’t connect with others.
How To Avoid This Mistake: Go to a networking event in your area. Or you could join an online community centered on your industry or skill set. Whether online or offline, there are plenty of chances to connect with the movers and shakers in your industry if you’re motivated enough. Ask someone for an informational coffee meet-up or connect on social media. A good network of contacts is worth its weight in gold.