Most common mistakes made by job seekers

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In the second part of the top 20 mistakes commonly made while job seeking, Barry Whelan points out that the below errors are all easily preventable.



21 March 2011

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Barry1Follow up

In order to set you apart from other applicants and show a real level of enthusiasm and professionalism, follow up is essential. After you have sent in your application, you will need to contact the person you have sent it to. You need to ensure it has been received and is being dealt with. Just because you applied over the internet, doesn’t mean you can’t find out to who you applied. Follow up after the interview is also advised. Enthusiasm for a position can set a candidate apart for a role time and time again. Don’t stalk anyone, a thank you note or email will suffice.

Not reading the instructions

Lots of companies have adopted online application software to filter through applications and funnel the correct CVs to the correct hiring manager.

When applying through these web portals, pay utmost attention and take your time. You will be asked questions and you need to answer these questions correctly. For example, we handled the in-house recruitment of a large retailer- one of the first portal questions we asked was ‘can you work weekends?’ This was an automatic rejection question. Half the applicants were rejected. People also seem to be misinterpreting the instructions on these online applications and rushing through the questions asked, often eliminating their application.

Overlooking the basics on the interview

You will be asked for a run down on your career history.

You will be asked your strengths and weaknesses. You will be asked what interests you in the company and job and what you know about them. You will be asked why you should be employed…really you will! Practice these ‘gimme’ questions and prepare your answers.

Not having a Linked In profile

You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage here. Many employers look to LinkedIn for further information on a candidate and by not having a LinkedIn profile, you are missing out on a critical opportunity to showcase your skills and experience.

Not doing your research

Finding a job and going through the interview process can be a time consuming process, but it is essential that you take the time to go through the process properly. The most important aspect of this is using your time to research the company you are applying to. It is no longer acceptable not to do the research or just to have a click through their company website. You need to Google them thoroughly and network with people who have worked for the company and find out as much as you can about them. If you don’t research the company, it is unlikely you will get the job.

Not asking questions at interview

Asking questions will help the hiring manager to ascertain your level of interest in a position, your understanding of the role, your knowledge of the company and will give you an opportunity to engage in the interview and above all, learn about the role and what they are looking for. Ask questions, but we wouldn’t advise you take notes, it can make you look like you’re interviewing the interviewer and can put people off. By passing on the opportunity to ask questions, you’re sending a message that you’re not that interested in the job. And employers want candidates who are interested.

Relying on a single job-hunt strategy

Some job seekers will rely on using online job boards, and those individuals may miss excellent opportunities. Job seekers typically identify more jobs and make more connections that can lead to jobs when they use a multipronged approach. You should always ramp up your job search with job boards, face-to-face meetings, networking at professional development meetings, phone networking and other search strategies.



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