Common Mistakes when Looking for a Job

Once you’ve graduated college, it’s time to join the workforce. Recent economic events have resulted in an unpredictable job market. No matter how qualified you are or what field you are entering, there are certain actions that can help facilitate quick employment. On the other hand, there are definite mistakes that can ensure you are unemployed for a long time. Avoid these common mistakes when looking for a job:

Looking for work before you’re ready.

Many people peruse the job market before they are out of college, and this is a great way to get a feel for the state of the job market. However; don’t apply for a job until you are ready to start working. Doing so will waste your time, and the time of your potential employer.

Doing nothing while you’re unemployed.

The first few weeks after college should be spent enjoying time with friends and family. However, if you’re unemployed you should start looking for a job sooner rather than later. Not only is it financially irresponsible to not look for work, but long lapses of unemployment can look suspicious on your resume.

Applying for everything.

Sure, you need a job. Yet, applying for every job that comes your way will do nothing but exhaust and frustrate you. Only apply to the jobs that you are qualified for. Taking the first job that comes your way may result in boredom if you’re overqualified, or stress if you’re under qualified.

Sending the same cover letter and resume.

Cover letters and resumes are not one size fits all. You should look at the job listing and tailor your resume to that specific job. Accentuate assets you know the employer is looking for. Look at the website of the company you are applying to, and pull out specific facts of interest in your cover letter and resume. Doing so will set you apart from the crowd and increase your likelihood of getting an interview.

Sending an outdated resume.

Sending a resume that hasn’t been updated in the last few months or years tells a potential employer that you’re not serious about your job search. What’s worse, sending a resume and/or cover letter riddled with grammatical errors will communicate that you are incompetent or lazy. Update your resume every three months, and be sure that all contact information and employment history is accurate. Have a friend or career advisor proofread your resume and make sure it is completely free of typos.

Making it all about you.

You’re the one who is unemployed and the one applying for a job, but that doesn’t mean the interview and job application is about you. In fact, employers are looking for candidates that are team players, and that are willing to put their needs aside to do what’s best for their company. Communicate your unselfishness, and ask questions about the interviewer, job, and the company. Explain that you’re excited about the possibility of working for that company and pull specific facts about the company from their website.

Making demands.

As the candidate, it’s your job to make the interviewer like you, and want to work with you. A surefire way to turn off an interviewer is to demand to leave work early, or have a specific parking spot. It’s important you show an interviewer that you are likeable and easy to work with, so keep the demands to yourself.

Giving up.

Looking for a job takes time and it’s easy to get frustrated. Don’t get discouraged if you’re unemployed for longer than you expected. Take time to reward yourself, and remind yourself that you are a college educated professional. In the meantime, do things that will make you more hirable, like taking a computer course or volunteering. As the economy recuperates, new opportunities will arise, allowing your career to start.

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