Things to Avoid When Searching for Jobs

avoid these job seeker mistakes

When looking for a job opportunity there are lots of things to consider like where do you look, how often and what for. Sometimes you get lucky and get results pretty quickly...other times, not so lucky. 

In these not-so-lucky times during your job hunt, you might be making some mistakes that are stopping your search from progressing. Here are our top 5 things to avoid when looking for your next job:

1. Being Disorganised

Having a plan of action is key to many aspects of life including the job hunt. Have a think about what you’re looking for and where you want to work.  Then think about the kind of company you want to work for. Next thing on the ‘to do’ list is to ask yourself: where am I likely to find jobs like this – should I be going to a company career site directly? Should I look on LinkedIn? Are there any industry specialist job boards out there? Will a general job board do?

Take the reins and make sure you don’t let your job search consume you. Do it in small increments – do an hour or two per week, and if you get fed up you can always set up email alerts to notify you when something relevant comes up. 

2. Distributing Your CV Haphazardly 

In the spirit of organisation, it might not be the best move to throw-it-at-the-wall-and-hope-something-sticks. Firstly, you’ll forget what you applied for and if someone gets back to you you’ll look pretty silly. Secondly, by not tailoring your CV per job (or at least your personal statement) you’re not showing the employer how keen you are. Finally, you might just be applying for jobs for the sake of it and when it comes to crunch time you’re not actually that interested anyway.

Take care selecting which jobs you’re applying for – make sure you are only giving your CV to jobs you’re serious about and are interested in. And, of course, tailor your CV accordingly – you’ll look great when not only do you fit the bill but you answer the phone with ‘I was really excited when I saw the advert on Reed etc.’ rather than ‘Oh, hi, erm...sorry what was the job again?’

3. Not Tailoring your CV or Cover Letter

We can’t stress this enough – check out our previous posts on how to tailor your CV. It’s important that you tailor your cover letter to each and every job role you apply for – you need to use this opportunity to explain why you’re good for the job, how you match their requirements and what you can bring to the company. You’d be daft not to utilise this opportunity to expand on your CV and really sell yourself.

4. Not Proofreading Your CV and/or Cover Letter

If you get far enough in the process to be shortlisted you really don’t want to be let down because of a typo here and there or a silly grammatical error. These mistakes are picked up by recruiters and employers and have been known to deter them but don’t worry – these mistakes are easily avoidable. 

Check out our tips for proofreading your CV and don’t be afraid to ask a close friend or family member to proof it as well.

5. Being Too Formal...or Informal

Getting the tone right can be tricky but the general rule of thumb is to be professional without being overly ostentatious. Be human – no one expects you to swallow a dictionary and regurgitate it in Queen’s English, be yourself but be mindful of what you’re saying. Don’t use slang or swear words and think about how your dress and posture are reflective of you. Be presentable. 

By avoiding these common mistakes you will find that your job search goes a lot more smoothly...and perhaps more successful if you do it right!

Good luck in your job search, and remember we have lots of useful blogs to help you on the way:

• 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your CV

• 5 Cover Letter Mistakes

• How to Proofread Your CV