There is truth to the saying “searching for work is full-time work”. This is because a certain level of commitment is required to obtain a meaningful employment opportunity. But what is even more important than working hard to find a rewarding career, is ensuring the work you’re putting in is impactful and not a waste of your valuable time.
So what does an impactful career search look like? And what types of job search mistakes should you avoid? To start, familiarize yourself with the below pointers to ensure your job search will lead to the meaningful career you’ve been looking for.
1. Don’t Use the Same Job Search Methods You’ve Used for Years
There are many resources people use to hunt for jobs – online sites, such as Kijiji and Indeed, the classified section of the morning news paper and even in-person opportunities like career fairs or networking events.
Whatever method you prefer, make sure you’re exploring a range of platforms as sticking with the same ones you’ve always used will limit your options exponentially. It’s also important to note that the methods used to find jobs are always changing with the introduction of new technologies. Before beginning your job search, speak to friends about the strategies they’ve used to find employment, and read blogs online about useful job search platforms.
2. Don’t Apply for Jobs That Don’t Interest You
Use your time wisely and prioritize applying for jobs that align with your education or past work experiences. Applying for jobs that don’t interest you will eat up your valuable job search time, as well as the time of hiring managers. This wasted energy could be better spent putting in more effort to perfecting an application for a job that really aligns with your passions.
If you need support determining what types of jobs you’re qualified for or what kind of jobs you can expect to obtain with certain types of training, our Career Services department is equipped to answer your questions.
3. Don’t Apply for Jobs You’re not Qualified for
One of the biggest job search mistakes you should avoid is applying for a job with no hopes of actually obtaining the position. The reason this point is worth highlighting is because it will not only be a waste of your time to put effort into an application for an opportunity requiring skill sets you don’t possess, but it will also be discouraging when you don’t hear back from the employer for an interview.
A good test to determine if you have the necessary qualifications for a job is to thoroughly read over the job ad and compare it to the skills listed on your resume. Do you have the required training to meet the demands of the role? Have you been working in the industry long enough? Do you understand the jargon and terminology on the job ad? These questions will help you determine your preparedness for position in question.
4. Don’t Shy Away from Applying for Jobs You’re Qualified for
When our hiring managers are filling positions at Robertson, they want to ensure they’re connecting with the best possible candidates. This means interviewing everyone who’s qualifications match those laid out in the job description, but it also means finding someone whose personality matches the internal culture of the college.
If you have the majority of the qualifications listed in the job description, but are lacking the full picture of the organization’s model employee, you should still consider putting your name forward for the role. For instance, if a job ad is seeking candidates with your training but wants an individual with a couple more years of industry experience, it may still be worth applying for the position as an ad could reflect the employer’s ideal scenario as opposed to what they’re willing to accept and your personality could be just the right fit!
5.Don’t use the Same Application for Multiple Employers
A common job search mistake you should avoid, and one our Career Services representatives see often, is sending off a generic resume and cover letter to multiple employers. The reason you want to personalize each application is because the skills required for one position may be entirely different than the skills highlighted in a different job ad.
Most of the time, an employer can easily tell if a resume and cover letter are generic because they will lack the key signs of a customized application. These signs include neglecting to address the cover letter to the hiring manager, including skill sets that simply don’t apply to the job at hand, and other errors that will position your application as sloppy and generic.
6.Don’t Sit by the Phone Waiting for a Call-Back
Had a great interview? It might be tempting to sit by the phone and wait for a call back because you’re confident in your chances – but what if you don’t receive the call? Or what if the prospective employer had a lot of interviews and needs time to evaluate the various candidates? You could be waiting for a long time to hear the final results and that time spent waiting could be better spent continuing your job search.
7.Don’t Speed Through the Application Process
Another job search mistake to avoid is speeding through the application process and potentially missing errors that could lead to negative perceptions about your ability to proofread your own work. Make sure you take the time to thoroughly read your resume, cover letter and any other requested material the employer has asked you to submit.
You may try printing off these documents and reading them on a piece of paper to catch any mistakes you missed on the computer, or you can have a trusted friend read over the application as a second pair of eyes is always a valuable resource to make use of. For students and alumni of Robertson, our Career Services representatives are happy to support in ensuring your applications are ready to send off to prospective employers.
8.Don’t Neglect to Follow Up After an Interview
Sending over a short thank-you note to the individuals that conducted your interview can make a positive impact on their perception of your eagerness. One tip is to wait between 12 and 24 hours to send an email that simply thanks the prospective employer for taking the time to interview you for a role you feel you will excel in.
This is also a good time to include any materials in the email that you may have referenced during the interview. For example, samples of past work, a letter of recommendation from a previous employer, or any other documents that demonstrate your preparedness for the position
The above job search mistakes are easily avoidable if you can get outside of your standard job search habits and draw on support from your various networks. At Robertson, we act as that network for students and alumni and often funnel many of our own grads into employment opportunities within the college. If you’re looking to fast-track your job search and develop new, employable skill sets, consider speaking to one of our Career Services representatives about a program at Robertson.