Job hunting mistakes you don't want to make

With so many methods of job searching around nowadays, it’s difficult to be able to keep up with it all and know how to job search effectively. Because of all the different systems of applying, there are plenty of traps you can fall into during your job hunt. Here’s where you might be going wrong:

job hunting

  • You’re not investing enough time in your job search

Job hunting is a tedious process and never anyone’s idea of fun. It takes a lot of time and there’s a lot of research you’ll need to do. If you can invest time every day into your job search and create a routine, it’ll be a little less arduous and more fruitful.

  • You’re investing too much time in your job search

Similarly, you could be investing far too much time into your hunt for a new job. If you find yourself becoming increasingly desperate to look for another job, you might be looking 24/7. The same jobs will be cropping up on various sites and you’ll soon feel like you’re going nowhere fast. Calm down and take a break!

  • You’re assuming one size fits all

This is a common approach to job hunting. It’s very easy to treat job seeking like the lottery; the more you apply, the better your chances are of landing an interview. However, all you’re doing is diluting your job search. You need to be applying for jobs that are already tailored to your CV. There’s nothing wrong with punching above your weight, but never blindly apply for every job out there. This is easily done due to the amount of job searching apps available to us; we can apply or reject a job listing with the swipe of a finger. You need to stop, read it through properly and apply with a specially-made tailored CV. This is a longer process, but it’ll be worth it and it won’t give employers the impression that you’re desperate.

  • You’re not as connected as you thought you were

Job hunting isn’t just about people or how many connections you have on LinkedIn or Facebook. Have you been keeping up to date with the latest news relating to your industry? Are there any key figures in other companies you want to get in contact with? Be proactive and learn to network properly. Just because you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn doesn’t help if they’re all your friends from school. You can read up on some LinkedIn tips here.

  • Plan? What plan?

The job market is unpredictable and you can’t always foresee where your search will take you. Many of us have jobs that we never thought we’d end up having (and that’s not always a bad thing!). Nevertheless, it’s important to have some sort of plan otherwise you’ll likely become overwhelmed and lost in your job search. Make a job hunting schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t need to be very detailed or set in stone, but if you have a few targets every day (such as updating your LinkedIn profile, your CV, researching the industry or talking to new people in your chosen field) this can make you feel like you’re in charge of the whole process.

  • Only going for what’s out there

This has got to be one of the biggest mistakes you can make when looking for a new job. If you only ever apply for jobs that are posted online or in the newspaper, you could potentially be missing out on your dream job. Use your networking skills to talk to recruiters and employers. Sometimes they will have something coming up and you can be their first thought when it does. Avoid lingering on hundreds of job boards unless you’ve got a perfectly tailored CV to apply with. (You can spruce up your CV using these tips)

  • Talking rather than listening

Talking too much rather than listening more applies to both job hunting and the interview process. If there’s ever an opportunity to hear feedback, then you should always take it. If you’re being told details about a job during an interview then you’d better make sure you listen attentively. Many of us believe that job interviews are processes whereby we talk about ourselves for an hour. This isn’t really the case. It’s also an opportunity for you to listen to what the employer has to offer you.

  • You’re going for the same industry – just because

This is a very easy trap to fall into. You shouldn’t be always be looking to directly replace your current or old job. You’ll have plenty of transferrable skills that you can carry over to new industries and job types. You don’t always need to have formal qualifications if you’ve got a relevant experience and skills set. It’s worth researching extra roles in other fields.

Most of these job hunting mistakes can be easily avoided by doing your research. Job hunting is often not the most fun activity in the world, but you can end up doing it for a lot longer than you wish simply because you’re falling into traps. With so many ways to apply for jobs, competition to stand out is fierce.

Do you have any job hunting tips to offer? Send them in to etj.editor@theiet.org and we’ll publish the best ones!
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