Job Seeking 101 – Part I – Blunders

While the economy is stabilizing and the term “candidate-driven market” is often heard, finding a job from entry-level to middle management is not the same as choosing what apple to pick from a heavily-laden tree. It still takes motivation, commitment, and an understanding of the dos and don’ts of job searching. Many people have a general idea of what they should do, but don’t understand the “thou shall nots.” That’s why Springborn Staffing is sharing this 2-part blog. Next week we’ll map out an action plan for snaring the job that fits you best, but today we’ll get those bothersome little never-do-that blunders out of the way.

Job Search Blunders 101

Failing to establish a job or career goal. You can’t get anywhere until you decide where you’re going. Sure, you may be able to apply at five places and walk away with three jobs, but if they don’t fit your skills, personality, lifestyle, etc. you will soon find yourself out job searching again.

Throwing together a resume – and proofreading? What’s that? When a job opening is posted, resumes flood the scene. If yours is sloppily made and contains errors, well . . . let’s just say it plays an important role is the office waste can basketball tournament.

Sending your application or resume in for every opening. Managers don’t want somebody who will do anything. The want someone who has the skills to fill their open position and can do the job well. Furthermore, sending your resume to a lot of jobs that don’t fit is not only a waste of time, but it also detracts from giving your best effort to applying for those jobs that do fit.

Skipping the “Research the Company” step. You can’t do a good job of choosing which positions to apply for if you don’t know the companies. And if you are called in for an interview, but know nothing about the company, then you come across as uninterested, unmotivated, and lacking in the follow-through department. Not exactly who they want to hire.

Failure to organize your search. If you are doing some serious job searching, then you will be sending multiple resumes and/or applications. Hopefully, you will be getting calls for interviews or interviewing on the spot when you apply. If you don’t keep a record of where you been, on what date, when you should hear back, when you can check back, etc. you are sure to make an embarrassing and hire-killing blunder along the way – whether it’s a missed appointment or just sending a thank you note for Bryce from Company B, but addressing it to Sara from Company G.

Skimming or ignoring directions. Many companies – especially those with online applications – have a specific set of steps they want you to follow. They might have additional rules – like send your unstapled resume to such and such. If your perfectly polished resume arrives stapled together, it may very well end up in the trash can without even a first glance, let alone a second. Failure to follow instructions is not an encouraging sign to a potential employer.

Failing to expand your search: Job seekers who stick only to one avenue – for example, online job boards, rather than networking, checking other job-posting sources, connecting with a staffing agency, etc., often miss the best opportunities. If you want opportunity to come knocking, you better be watching out the window.

Failing to stretch yourself: Of course, it’s another blunder to apply for positions for which you don’t have the skills or experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch your boundaries. If scratch off an option because you only have four out of six requirements – you might be slamming the door in your own face. If you meet those four requirements well and can show your ability to learn the other two, you may be offered a job that takes you forward in your career.

Skipping commonsense prep for your interview. The quickest way to shoot yourself in the foot is to arrive late in a poor choice of attire and then stumble through your answers. Follow that with not having researched the company or prepared your questions, and they will not only regret the interview, but question everything you had on your resume.

Being unprofessional in your communication: This might include email addresses like ilike2party@gmail.com, sloppy grammar, and sending a stock thank you or failing to send one altogether. Yes, you want to be noticed, but not for the wrong things.

Are you getting the picture? If you are like most people, at least one of these blunders made you cringe. The point is not what you have done in the past, but what you are going to change in the present to ensure a better future. Springborn Staffing is here to help – we specialize in it. We help job seekers put together solid resumes, prepare for interviews, and find connections with jobs that fit. Contact us today and find a job in Bangor and Portland, Maine and surrounding areas.

Now that you know what NOT to do, check out next week’s blog for an action plan on finding the job you’re seeking.

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