Since the economic downfall, I’ve been critiquing almost triple the resumes and conducting one on one counseling than the year before. I’ve also been scheduling several trainings on more campuses then ever before. It still completely boggles my mind the lack of education many of our students receive when it comes to the basics of looking for a job.
In this tight job market, employers are being very selective then before. Candidates need to be well aware of any habits or mistakes that could be the reasons they are not being hired. Years ago I came across an article by Costello, Erdian & Company thats to the point on the top job hunting errors. Here are the top 10 job hunting errors:
1. Poor Resume: The resume is used as a quick screening device by most employeers. If it doesn’t strike them as outstanding, your chances of an interview may be slim. The resume should describe education and experience in a concise, well-written format. More importantly, it should emphasize accomplishments, overall duties and responsibilities.
2. Failure to Network: Friends, acquaintances and people you know should be sought out and their information be used in developing job leads.
3. Limiting Job Sources: Classified ads, employment agencies and other sources are often overlooked. Use all possible methods to learn of appropriate jobs.
4. Unplanned Approach: Pre-printed cover letters, quick and unimaginative phone calls and short non responsive resumes save time for the candidate but turn off employers who feel they will take short cuts in carrying out job responsibilities.
Write a simple but personized cover letter using the following template:
Simple Cover Letter Template
5. Too Short Work Week: For the unemployed, the job search should be a 40 hour per week proposition. You don’t get a job by only using part of your free time.
6. Inadequate Interview Preparation: Each situation is a separate challenge and requries unique preparation. Responses must be timely, flexible and address the specific needs of the employer.
7. Poor Interviewing Techniques: A “give and take” honest relationship must be established during the interview. Candidate should exchange information while listening attentively, selling themselves and demonstrating enthusiasm for the job and the company.
8. Restricted Job Search: Restrictions on geographical locations, commuting time, parking facilities, size and type of employer, and other personal matters should be secondary to the overall merit of an opportunity. Financial and professional pressures may also change your outlook later and make the opportunity more feasible. Remember that you can always decline a job offer if it is judged to be unattractive or a better one develops.
9. Negative Attitude: Candidates who “have all the answers criticize their managers, second guess employers” are seldom invited for second interviews. Negative attitudes toward prior jobs are seen as predictors of future performances.
10. Poor Physical Appearance: While there is no need to look like a movie star, candidates who do not demonstrate self-respect by creating a positive image are usually judged to be unacceptable.
Costello, Erdian, & Company
a national outplacement counseling and human resources consulting firm
as posted on University of Wisconsin’s Career Center Website