job hunting

Five common jobhunting mistakes to avoid

If you’re struggling to find a job, don’t despair. You may just be making a few of these all too common mistakes. Fix up your job hunting methods by avoiding these strategies and you could find yourself being more successful.

Only applying to posted job openings


Don’t just rely on shop window ads and job listing sites. Stay one step ahead of the game by finding job openings before they even become available. Think of companies you’d like to work for and email them directly. They may be in the process of thinking about expanding and may be more inclined to hire you due to your initiative. Asking about vacancies will ensure you find the right job for you and give your search unlimited options.

Applying to every job you can

The ‘numbers game’ works for some people. But most often, if you’re applying to every job you come across, you’re not putting much thought into each one, and so each application will come across hurried and dull. Instead, look for vacancies that you really want and spend a good couple hours crafting that perfect application. Employers are more likely to hire someone who has put a lot of time and effort into their application than someone that’s whipped it up in a couple of minutes.

Waffling at employers

Of course, whilst you should show passion in your application, you don’t want to go overboard and send them an essay. Most employers won’t read beyond the first paragraph, so be concise. Get all the information you can into as few sentences as possible. This rule also applies to the interview process. Whilst some people may stutter in interviews due to nerves, more often than not people overcompensate by talking too much. In a valiant effort to sound confident, they keep talking so that there aren’t any awkward pauses – but the result ends more awkward as they don’t know when to shut up. Try to talk slowly but confidently – this will allow you more time to think about what you want to say, instead of filling to thinking time by rambling on.

Not taking advice

None of us want to know our flaws, in fear of knocking our confidence. But sometimes this advice can be useful – even if it is hard to hear. If you get rejected after an interview, ask the employer what you could have done better. Most interviewers will be happy to give constructive criticism. Similarly try to use job-hunting resources such as recruitment agencies for advice. They may be able to guide you in the right direction in a more positive manner, as well as running mock interviews and analysing your application for improvements.

Being uncreative with what you can offer the company

Selling yourself to an employer is largely about proving what you can do for the company. The employer may be looking to improve their business in some way and you could be the person for the job. Most of us will resort to generic adjectives like ‘reliable’ and ‘hardworking’. Instead, give examples of times you’ve gone beyond the line of duty, offering your most unique skills. Feel free to offer ways in which you can improve and grow the business too, although refrain from being too cocky making sure that you praise the current business and respect the employer’s authority.

Are you struggling with the job hunt? Tell us about it and see if our readers can offer any advice

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