Every job search is different. Not all industries use the same hiring methods. But job search guidelines exist that everyone should follow, regardless of where, when and how they’re applying for jobs.
Only using online job boards. Not all job openings are posted online. Include other job search techniques like networking and career fairs.
Believing that networking isn’t necessary. Some industries post online job opportunities more than others. But talking to people is still the primary way people learn of employment options.
Having resume typos. Review your resume forwards and backwards and have another person look it over. Don’t rely on spellcheck.
Not sending a cover letter. Cover letters take additional time to write but it’s worth it. If you’re asked to send a cover letter you should follow directions and do so.
Not researching who to send the cover letter to. Avoid addressing a cover letter or email “To Whom It May Concern.” If you know the company name, find the phone number and call. Ask the person who you should send your cover letter to (give the job title or reference number if provided).
Failing to complete application steps. Employers will provide step-by-step instructions for applying to a job opening. Follow them.
Forgetting to tell your references that they are your references. You need to ask your references if they are okay with this role. If they say yes, let them know when you have submitted their contact information so that a phone call from an employer doesn’t surprise them.
Showing up late to an interview. Allow enough time to arrive at your interview 15 minutes early. Traffic, car problems and illness happen – call the employer as soon as possible if you will be unable to attend the interview. Explain the circumstances and politely ask to reschedule.
Not practicing for an interview. When it comes to answering interview questions, don’t “wing it.” Practice commonly asked questions ahead of time. Employs expect you to do this.
Answering “no” when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Employers also expect you to have questions to ask them. If you don’t they assume you’re unprepared or uninterested.
Forgetting to send a thank you note after the interview. Send a thank you email within 48 hours to each person who interviewed you. If the other candidate sends a thank you note and you don’t, guess who probably gets the job offer.
Not responding to requests for a second interview. An employer may have second interviews with candidates. If you’re contacted for a second interview be sure to reply.
Letting an employer know if you decide not to accept a job offer. When an employer offers you a job, you’ll be given time to review the offer and think about it. You’ll call to accept the job offer, but don’t forget to call if you choose not to accept. An email is also appropriate.