Guest post by Dawn Papandrea. Dawn is the managing editor of FindtheRightJob.com.
The biggest job search myth among new graduates and young professionals is that there are no jobs available.
The truth is that companies are hiring. The difference is that they are working harder to make sure the candidate is more than just qualified for the job. They also want to make sure that the candidate is the right fit for the company. Avoid making these three mistakes if you want to find a job.
You apply for everything
Similar to when you applied to college, the best approach is to target a manageable number of positions/companies, so you can then devote some time to each application. Mass-emailing every contact in your address book or applying to 12 positions within the same company will make you look desperate, not eager.
- Make a short list of the job titles you’d like to target, along with some companies you are interested in learning more about, and spend some time researching opportunities therein.
You use a one-size-fits-all resume.
Crafting a good resume is a lot of work, so of course, you want to show it off and send it out all over. But if you use something generic to represent yourself, that’s exactly how it will come across.
- Carefully read the description for the job you would like to apply for, and incorporate some of the same keywords into your resume before you hit send.
- You should also highlight the bullet points and past experiences that best relate to that desired position.
You don’t take the time to clean up their social media act.
There is no imaginary wall between the real you and the online you. Employers go straight to Google, LinkedIn, and yes, even Facebook to get a glimpse of potential candidates before they reach out to them. Use the grandmother test. If you wouldn’t want good ol’ Gram to see something you’ve posted online, than it shouldn’t be out there.
- Beyond clean-up efforts (and ensuring you’ve tacked on the right Privacy settings), take the time to craft a really strong LinkedIn profile, which in essence, is an online resume.
- Ask former colleagues and employers for recommendations and endorsements, and join (and participate in) industry groups and discussions.
Ready to make yourself a stand out job applicant? Here’s what you can do right now:
- Identify your ideal job title.
- Type those keywords into LinkedIn or a job search site.
- Read the job descriptions carefully and see if your skills match.
- Tweak as necessary, and repeat.
Dawn Papandrea is the managing editor of FindtheRightJob.com, which offers tips and advice for job seekers and a job search engine.