Written by Dave Cullen
Finding a job at the best of times is a difficult process, the current economic climate makes things even more of a challenge. Jobseekers are having to focus their efforts into finding new and creative ways to showcase their abilities and develop their personal brand and with the advent of social media, this process is a continually evolving one. Nowadays there is an expectation that candidates must engage in a wide range of job search activities and platforms. These include, producing a bulletproof CV, creating an online presence, building a strong professional network and cultivating rock solid interview skills.
The demands on jobseekers are certainly considerable but an adherence to these guidelines, commitment and perseverance will no doubt deliver the desired results. However each of the various job search methods carries with them a potential for failure if poorly executed. The following is a list of three common mistakes Jobseekers make that may seriously impede your chances of landing a job.
1. Asking only what your network can do for you
‘Who we know’ is a powerful tool in discovering new employment opportunities. Networking is a fundamental tenet of the concept of ‘Social Capital’. As American political scientist Robert Putnam describes: ‘Social capital is the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do work for each other’. It maintains the notion that our telephone address books have an economic value.
However, some jobseekers make the fatal mistake of viewing Networking as an opportunistic process in which they seek to use it for their own advantage. The truth is, in order to foster a strong and supportive professional Network; you must forge relationships that are mutually beneficial. To do otherwise would make it obvious that you only reach out to your contacts when you need a favour. You must provide help and support to members of your network and take a genuine interest in their projects, challenges and lives.
2. Using a generic CV
Spamming recruiters and hiring managers with stock CVs is never a good idea. There are a number of reasons why this method is no longer successful. Firstly, with so many applicants being screened for a particular role, only the CVs that have been tailored for the position will be considered. Employers want to know that you have taken the time to demonstrate your interest in working for them specifically.
Secondly, companies have had to employ the use of keyword algorithms in order to filter through applications and discover the most suitable candidates. This is why is it crucial that you customise your CV to the job you are applying for. Keywords can be found by carefully reading the Job spec for the position and sprinkling them into your CV. The best way to incorporate them is to write an achievements-based CV that highlights how you have previously used the skills and talents required for the role.
3. Focusing on how the job can benefit you
Selling yourself to an employer is about explaining how you can add value to the company and why you would make a great hire. The cut and thrust of your application should always focus on what the company will gain by having you as an employee. However, focusing on how you believe the job would be of benefit to your career is a sure fire way of ruining your chances. Explaining to an interviewer about how you feel this job will benefit you professionally will only make them believe that you interested in using the job as a means to jump ship for something better in the future.