Looking for a new job can feel as though you’ve got a lot to account for—between hunting for the newest job postings, updating your resume, and evaluating your professional priories, there is no doubt that this process can be stressful no matter where you are in your pursuit. Whether you’ve been looking for a while or just beginning to explore your options, here are a few of the most common mistakes made by job seekers and how to avoid them.
Forgetting to Network
Networking is an often underutilized tool when it comes to searching for a job, but it’s a big part of knowing which companies are hiring. If you’re not already using online tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook, they can be extremely helpful places to uncover potential opportunities. Additionally, attending professionally relevant talks and seminars is a great way to forge new connections and brush up on your skills.
Not reading the full job description
When browsing potential opportunities, it can be tempting to apply for as many positions as possible and hope to receive a response. While sending out a large batch of applications may seem like a good idea, there is so much information that can be missed when skimming job descriptions in the name of urgency. Before applying for a position, read the description aloud to make sure the job is the right fit —you might pick up on something you may have otherwise missed. On the same note, it’s always smart to ensure that the job and company align with your long term career goals before hitting send. You don’t want to make the mistake of applying for a job you would never take!
Talking negatively about a previous employer
Whether you are speaking to hiring manager or a professional connection, it’s never a good idea to speak negatively about a previous employer. For example, speaking negatively about a previous employer is not only unprofessional, but may lead the hiring manager to wonder if you’ll speak unfavorably about them in the future. While there is certainly no need to lie about your previous experiences, focusing on positive aspects and learning experiences from your past will speak to your ability to be proactive and learn from prior positions.
Not following up appropriately
If you’ve made a new connection or have had an interview, it’s best to follow up within 24 hours of your meeting. For a new contact, sending a quick LinkedIn message reminding them of how you met and thanking them for their advice/business card/recommendation can help to encourage further communication. On the other hand, if you’ve just had an interview, sending a thank you via email is a great way to stay in touch with your interviewer, as well as demonstrate your interest in the role at hand.