Friday, August 12, 2011

Avoid Job-Seeking Blunders

When job seeking, you should be professional, persistent, and prepared, and you should always try to maintain a good attitude. It helps to avoid some obvious and not-so-obvious blunders that job seekers frequently make.

Use Common Sense

Although some actions may appear to be common sense, job seekers occasionally make the following errors as a result of overlooking the obvious, rushing too much, or not paying attention to detail:
  • Omitting or presenting incorrect contact information in job-search correspondence.
  • Applying to positions for which you are unqualified.
  • Neglecting to submit required information specified in a job posting.
  • Underestimating the importance of networking. However, it is also important to be selective about whom you share job search information with; for example, it is not a good idea to share your job search efforts with casual acquaintances at your current employer.
  • Arriving to an interview late.
  • Ignoring or not following up on job prospects.
  • Acting or dressing in an unprofessional manner.

Practice and Polish

Like many things, with job-search practice you get better results. Avoiding the following blunders becomes easier with experience:
  • Arriving unprepared to an interview. Always research the company in advance and consider ways you can add value. Bring questions to the interview and use verbal and body language that suggest you are interested in the job.
  • Being ill-informed, unprepared, and unrealistic about salary. With current salary data readily available, employers expect job seekers to be in the same ballpark when it comes to salary expectations.
  • Disregarding the value of an online professional presence. Consider creating a professional profile on LinkedIn, for starters.
  • Limiting your job search to online job boards only. Many jobs never find their way to online job boards; often, these are discovered through networking.
  • Overlooking the importance of sending a thank you. Always follow up after an interview.

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