The job search can be tough. Trying to find the right fit for you and a ton of interviews it can be a challenge.
When in the market for a job, don’t give yourself a disadvantage right off the bat. Below are some of the more common mistakes that signal to employers to pass on potential candidates.
Social media use – According to the 2015 Career Builder national survey 52% of employers use social media sites to research potential candidates. About one-third of employers say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information on that person online. On the flip side, employers also will be less likely to interview someone if they see any illegal or inappropriate activities on the candidate’s social media sites, including poor communication and bad mouthing previous employers.
Not using a profession email – It’s fine to have your personal account, but employers will make a judgement based on your email name. Ideally having an account with your name is acceptable. Stay away from vague, suggestive, or just plain silly email names. First impressions count and if your email sounds less than professional than the employer will think the same of you.
Keep your resume simple and short – Employers will typically spend 20 to 30 seconds looking over a resume at first glance so keep it short and simple. Your resume should be at max two pages (ideally try to keep it to one page). Keep it simple as well by ensuring that every word and line on your resume are meaningful. This may means customizing your resume for each job you apply to. Lastly, consider your look; it’s more important to look profession and readable than flashy.
Always proof read - Regardless of whether it’s your resume, cover letter, or just email correspondence with a prospective employer make sure you take time and double or triple check it. Read the message out loud to catch simple grammar mistakes and look for spelling errors. These mistakes can give off the impression that you are careless and don’t take the time to check your work. Employers look to hire the best people for the job and these are the small things that will stop you from being considered further.
Always dress for the job you want - If you do manage to get an interview make sure you dress up for it. Shave, get a haircut, put in those extra steps into looking professional and clean. For different fields this may means different looks, but try to dress one notch above what a normal day would look like for this profession. This leaves a good first impression and may be the difference between getting the job and continuing the job hunt.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help - Networking is one of the most valuable tools when looking for a job. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, chances are there will be opportunities out there that people can help you with but you need to take the first steps to utilize it.
If you’re lucky enough to still be on a college campus, check out the career center. Our Johnson Career Center offers interview practice as well as review of resumes and help finding jobs and internships.