When your job search efforts aren’t translating into interviews and job offers, it’s time to reassess your strategy and figure out what isn’t working. Once you remove these five mistakes from your repertoire, you’ll have a much better chance of increasing your odds at landing a job offer.
1. Poor interview skills
There are 3 major factors that go into delivering a grade-A interview:
Most candidates’ biggest fears are that they’ll end up overdressed or underdressed. If interviewing for a sales or finance job, candidates are always safe with the standard suit but if interviewing in a creative industry, that’s where things can get tricky. How do you know what to wear? Many agencies now allow casual dress codes. So do you show up in jeans and sneakers? NO.
The best way to solve this problem is to ask the person you’re setting up the interview with. It’s okay to say something like, “What is the dress code like in the office? Professional? Business casual?” Their response will provide you with the information you need to dress for the company culture. If you still need reassurance, go to the company website and surf around. There’s a lot you can tell about company culture from the look and wording.
Candidates who don’t ask questions commit one of the worst interview offenses and lose any chance of getting invited back for a second interview. In this situation employers are under the impression that you aren’t interested in the job and that you didn’t do any research on the company. Always come into an interview with a mental list of quality questions to ask.
Avoid the following:
- Arriving late
- Canceling last minute
- Being rude to the receptionist
- Chewing gum
- Lack of eye contact
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Poor posture
- Leaving your phone on
- Answering your phone if it rings
- Interrupting your interviewer
- Not following up with a Thank You Note
2. Ignoring Your LinkedIn Profile
For experienced professionals, one of the best tools you can use for your job search is your LinkedIn profile as this acts as a more in-depth resume. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, your picture is professional, you’ve documented your accomplishments, and you’re continuing to connect with others. Remember, if you ignore LinkedIn, recruiters are more likely to ignore you.
3. You’re a Lone Wolf
It’s a rarity these days that you’ll land the big fish alone. A majority of job seekers landed their jobs by tapping into their networks. You are doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t making an effort to connect with new people and reinforcing relationships with old colleagues and friends. Start attending industry events and joining associations. If you’re an introvert, use social media to your advantage. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ are great ways to network if you’re not comfortable with face-to-face just yet.
4. Not Keeping Up With Trends
To keep a competitive edge, stay abreast of career trends and what’s happening in your industry. If you’re someone who still has an objective statement on your resume, you’re not keeping up with the times and it’s crippling your job search efforts. Knowing how to make your resume work with Applicant Tracking Systems and understanding what makes the best cover letters, will give you a leg up among other people battling for the same job.