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Searching for a job is hard work. No matter if you’re unemployed or working but testing the market to see if there is indeed greener grass elsewhere, exercising the patience, vigilance and creativity necessary to successfully find a job isn’t easy. In addition to making sure you do all the right things, there are also mistakes you can’t afford to make, any one of which may be the reason you didn’t get hired for the job.
“How-to” literature is full of suggestions about what to do to get hired. Where/how to look, what to write, what to focus on and what to say in your thank-you note, to name a few. The same literature, however, spends precious little time identifying what not to do. At the end of the day, it may be one of the mistakes you make that ensures you do not get hired for that job you want so much.
Before we address some of the most impactful mistakes made when seeking a new job, remember that they aren’t necessarily big mistakes, making them both more common and avoidable at the same time. Here, then, are some things to be mindful of:
- Defeatism breeds defeat. If you have a negative attitude about your search and think you can disguise that, you’re wrong. Whether in the tone of your writing or voice, the manner in which you organize or prepare for an interview, the sources you turn to for job openings, your negativity will show itself and may even do so in ways you don’t see (but others can). Don’t be negative. Choose otherwise.
- Limited thought limits opportunity. It’s a brave new world out there, one that rewards the brave. If you rely on traditional methods of job hunting because, well, you’ve always done those things to get hired (Classifieds/job boards, anyone?), you’ll significantly reduce the number of avenues you can pursue. Use the Internet to research industries, companies and employment opportunities in detail. Contact people you know in the line of work you’re looking to enter and sound them out for advice. Most professionals welcome a chance to provide mentoring. Don’t restrict your options or hamstring your efforts.
- Are you online? Is your online personality consistent with the professional image you want to convey? You have a LinkedIn profile, yes? No? Mistake. Make setting one up a priority. You’ll be able to create a network of professional contacts that is, as the saying goes, worth its weight in gold. Failure to use LinkedIn and other tools available that are designed to organize and aid your job search activities is a mistake, plain and simple.
- Clean up after yourself. Once you’ve created (or revisited, reviewed and revitalized) your professional online presence (e.g, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, etc.), spend some quality time evaluating it. Is there anything on your social networking sites (SNS) that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see? If so, get rid of it. Many people make the mistake of relying on some nonexistent “right to privacy on the Internet” protection, believing that employers can’t use “personal” stuff made publicly available on social media when making employment decisions. Simply intending for it to be personal does not, however, mysteriously convey privacy protection on the information. Saying “they can’t do that” is folly. They can and won’t tell you if they did.
- Dnt wrt lk u txt. Despite the fact that “everyone texts”, no one writes in textese. Don’t do it. We don’t live in that world. Not yet anyway. lol!
Doing what it takes to get hired is hard; avoiding mistakes to get hired isn’t.
So, wondering why you didn’t get hired for the job? Download this PDF list of job hunting mistakes to help you determine reasons why you didn’t get the job so that you don’t repeat the mistakes in the future.