Common Mistakes in the Job-Search Process
In working with recruiters and employers every day, we hear of all kinds of mistakes job seekers are making when applying and interviewing for jobs. These mistakes in the job-search process are costing candidates opportunities. Some never get interviews, while others might secure a meeting and the process stops there. Here, we’re going to share with you some of the most common mistakes your colleagues are making so you can learn from them and avoid following a similar path.
Sharing Too Much
From an 11-page resume going back to the 1960s to taking 20+ minutes to answer, “Tell me about yourself,” some candidates are chronic over-sharers. The problem with this is that they often share information that recruiters and employers don’t need to know, such as their age, marital status, illnesses, and challenges they’ve had with past employers.
When looking for your next opportunity, focus on what’s recent and relevant. That means writing a one- to two-page resume that highlights 10–15 years of experience and sticking to your value proposition when answering interview questions. Employers typically spend less than 10 seconds on the first read of a resume, so they need to see what you offer quickly. In the interview, avoid common mistakes in the job-search process by striving to answer questions in two minutes or less. You can always add information during follow-up questions.
Not Reading the Job Description
“Is this position remote?”
“What kind of company is this?”
“Can you tell me about the position?”
These are the kinds of questions job seekers who haven’t read the job description have. Sure, some descriptions lack information, but these days, you’ll usually learn what the position expects from applicants and where the person will work. Some job descriptions even describe the company, and if they don’t, a quick Google search will tell you a lot about the basics.
Don’t waste time during an interview asking questions to which you should already know the answers. This makes you look bad and frustrates employers and recruiters who are left to reiterate what they already shared in the job description. Plus, this is one of the key mistakes in the job-search process that could kick you out of the running for the position.
Not Showing Up for Interviews
One would think that, if a candidate applies for a position, gets through the initial screening, and is asked to interview, that candidate would actually show up for the meeting. Unfortunately, though, that’s not always the case. Too often, job seekers don’t show up for interviews, nor do they tell employers they’ve changed their mind.
Time is valuable, and many hiring managers are very busy. If you change your mind and decide not to follow through with the interview, have the courtesy to cancel, preferably a day before your meeting is scheduled.
Not Following Up After the Interview
When recruiters and employers meet with several candidates for a role, or if they are hiring for a variety of positions, the names and faces of the people they’re interviewing can become jumbled in their minds. One of the major mistakes in the job-search process—for candidates who are early in their career to those with years of experience—is to forget to follow up after the interview.
You should send an email immediately after the interview to thank the recruiter or employer for their time, share something that makes you valuable, and tell them you look forward to the next steps. Then, if you have a physical address, get a handwritten thank-you card in the mail as soon as possible.
Don’t Make These Common Mistakes in the Job-Search Process
There’s a lot to remember when looking for your next position, and unfortunately, too many job seekers don’t take the time to educate and prepare themselves to succeed. Resume and Career Services’ six-course program covers all the bases, so you don’t miss a step. From choosing the right next position, doing your research, and developing your network to writing an effective resume, building a great LinkedIn profile, and acing your interview questions, we’re with you the whole way.