Job seekers are faced with a maze of difficulties including ever-evolving recruitment protocols as well as an overly populated job market.
Recruiters seem to care more about the bottom line than they do about finding candidates jobs. It is a cloudy space to be in and jobseekers pretty much have to blindly feel their way around. It’s not all doom and gloom, job seekers do have some control over their employment journey, however, there are some common mistakes to avoid. Since the job market is so tough to navigate, some expert advice could go a long way.
1. Online job portals
Job portals can be quite impervious and flooded with hopefuls leaving each posting with potentially thousands of applicants. You can submit tons of applications and grow grey while waiting for an interview or some sort of response. Each time you apply on a Job portal your CV falls into a digital black hole. It is a common mistake to think you will simply find a job by pressing apply on a few vacancies then sit and wait. A few get lucky, but most people need to play a more active role in their job search.
2. Looking for a job and not a career
A job suggests exchanging your time for a salary, a career on the other hand implies contributing to building something great. Employers are no longer seeking to hire jobseekers; they want to employ top talent that is looking to build and grow their careers. In the current market, business are looking for people who will add value to their organisation and not just complete tasks.
3. Insufficient research
If you are serious about getting a new job, you need to roll up your sleeves and put in the work. Nothing puts a potential employer off more than a person applying for a job and doesn’t seem bothered to research the role and company. It is not only off-putting but it paints you in a very bad light, everything else you say in the interview doesn’t really matter much because at the point of stumbling when asked any questions related to the company or role, the interviewer most likely marked you a no!
4. Poor personal brand
Your old school insipid CV won’t open the right doors for you simply as it screams “you take poor care of your professional appearance”. People seem to erroneously think their professional brand is limited to physical appearance and how they present themselves. Career documents including CVs and Portfolios as well as Professional online presence make up a huge part of your brand as there are the door openers, you only come in at the end to seal the deal but there wont be a deal to seal if your brand does not incite confidence in those seeking your skillset and experience.
5. Not understanding their value
No one will hire a person until they understand what value they bring to the table. If a jobseeker does not fully understand and can clearly articulate what they bring to each role they interview for, there is no way they can convince the interviewer they are the right fit. Don’t fall into the trap of undervaluing your self because you are desperate or overvaluing yourself in attempts to negotiate a higher salary. Keep it factual, what is the employer looking for and why would hiring you benefit them based on your skills and experience.
6. Negative online presence
A lot of people neglect to understand the impact what they post online will have on their careers. People hide behind social media personas and feel they can post or comment whatever they please. Employers these days are diligent with their background checks and social media makes up a large chunk of this. When people look you up, what sort of things will come up? Will what you post online help you secure a job or hurt your chances? Your digital footprint will outlive you, be very careful what you post.
7. Poor personal brand
How employers perceive you is very important when it comes to looking for a job. How great you know you will be in a role means nothing, it is the employer you need to convince and best way to do this is with a great personal/career brand that says you are meticulous and care for your career. This is extends way beyond how you present yourself physically, it includes your online interactions, professional documents as well as your general behaviour.
8. Inadequate Networking
Most job seeker tend to reply sorely on job portal or recruitment agencies, they undervalue the benefit of networking. LinkedIn has made it possible for everyone to reach out to virtually anyone they wish to. Connecting with the right people and opening the channel of communication could mean the world of difference when it comes to securing new opportunities. It is free to network, and it is one of the best tools a job seeker has at their disposal.
9. Bad CV
Tons of articles have been written on this subject, it is surprising and unacceptable that there are people that expect to be hired but they they do not take the time to put together a respectable CV. What effort you put into your CV says volumes about you, if you are not sure how to go about drafting a winning CV there are professional CV companies you can consult with.
10. Applying for the wrong jobs
People often get discouraged or end up on a very lengthy job search journeys as a result to applying for jobs they are not perfectly suitable for. Applying for jobs you do not fully qualify for is a waste of your efforts as no one will pick an unqualified candidate over a qualified one. Jobs seekers need to familiarise themselves with the job specifications and minimum requirements and check if they tick all the boxes prior to applying. You don’t need to score 100% because some employers will be a bit lenient if meet majority of the criteria.
Take away – You will secure more interviews if you avoid these very common mistakes made by over 80% of job seekers.