You greet your familiar barista with a bright ‘zo-san’, grab your latte and sit down at your favourite seat by the window. It’s on your agenda today to browse through Monster and send out at least five job applications.
Job seekers should be proactive and tenacious in their search. The process can be rather daunting, especially in today’s tight job market, where landing yourself one requires time and effort.
From the application process up to after the interview, here are some tips on what NOT to do in order to stand out from the crowd:
Apply for everything and anything I know, you want to send out five applications today. But if you’re sending out resumes to every job opening available without understanding each job scope and requirements, well, you’re wasting your time. Instead, take some time to define your ideal job. Sharpen the focus of your job search and narrow down your options. Don’t be picky, but don’t cast such a wide net either. A resume that is goal-oriented will appeal more to employers.
One-size-fits-all approach You’ve heard this before: don’t send the same resume and cover letter in all your applications! A generic resume and cover letter makes you seem insincere and uninterested in the job. Even if you have specified your desired job scope, you should always tailor your resume according to the personality of each particular company you are applying to. Similarly, your cover letter should always mention the company’s name – or better yet, a real person’s name.
Going in unprepared If you’ve landed the interview, you’re already one step closer to that offer. Besides dressing appropriately for the interview, candidates are expected to answer a range of questions – about themselves, their experience, their goals and their competencies.
Start preparing by understanding the company and its operations: what industries do its clients come from? What’s the latest news about the business? Who are its target audience, clients and other key stakeholders? These facts may seem trivial but knowing them shows how eager you are to know more about the company.
Making it all about you Nothing shuts an interviewer down faster than hearing “I” and “me” repetitively. Sure, you’re fluent in three languages and you can put together a gorgeous infographic in an hour. But that’s all been said in your resume. Your resume was all about you – your interview shouldn’t be.
You only have 10 to 15 minutes to with your interviewer and instead of repeating what you wrote in your resume, tell him or her how you can contribute to the company.
Forgetting to follow up Many candidates underestimate the power of a follow-up email. Your interviewer probably met four other candidates that afternoon so in order to keep yourself fresh on his or her mind, it is important to send a brief thank-you note and reiterate your eagerness to be hired. If you do not hear from him or her within 10 days, send another follow-up email. Be polite and remember – don’t call your interviewer every other day (it becomes harassment!)
Despite possessing invaluable skill sets and vast experiences in the industry, job seekers may still lose the opportunity to secure their desired jobs. Minimise your chances of being overlooked by a potential employer by avoiding these mistakes.