The landscape of job searching has changed so much over the last 10 years it’s hardly recognizable. Email applications, online agencies and commercial networking sites all act together to make it a whole different animal than it used to be. Unfortunately, that means a lot of folks are going about their job search and application process in the wrong way. But many people don’t even realize it! Here you will find the most common mistakes that occur in today’s job market, and what you can do to steer clear them, making sure that your job search and application process is as efficient as possible.


Still looking at the newspaper?


newspaper job searchBack in the old days, it seemed like looking at the classifieds and at the local newspaper, or national broadsheet was the best way to find the role you wanted. After all, it was the only way that we could receive this information all over the country. But now with the Internet, things are very different.

This form of hunting for jobs in the newspaper help wanted ads is bit redundant. In particular, you are unlikely to find a role in their that aren’t advertised on the internet, unless you are looking for some casual work.

However, using the internet to look for jobs isn’t exactly easy either. In fact, it can be a minefield, mostly because there’s too much information and it’s very easy to bogged down in your search for things.

Most jobs on the internet are display on job sites. You can search these by different parameters such as distance from you, wage, job titles, and keywords of course. These sites are most useful when you use these parameters to their best effect, narrowing down the thousands and thousands of possible roles into ones that would actually suit what you are looking for.

Also, don’t forget to look out for the sites that show how many applicants each role has received so far. This can be very useful as it gives you an idea of whether you are likely to be given an interview.  Fewer applications mean a higher chance. It also helps you establish how popular this sort of job is generally, and whether it is a competitive area to be applying in or not. Something that can help you to further step up your game to get noticed.


Applying indiscriminately


Related to Internet sites designed to find you jobs is the problem of applying randomly. Unfortunately, some jobs site make this so easy, as you have to do, is upload your resume and a general cover letter once. Then you click on the ‘apply’ button for each job that takes your fancy.

While this can seem like a nice easy, convenient way of applying, it’s important to question the value of doing it in this manner. After all, the advice for applying for jobs suggests that both our resume and most definitely our cover letter should be adjusted to show the skills that each job we apply for requires. So using one single catch-all letter is unlikely to get us past the application stage, to interview.

An additional problem with this is that if you don’t realize it, this can get very demoralizing. As you end up applying for hundreds of jobs and not hearing anything back. This can lead you to think there is something wrong with you. Or that you aren’t good enough for any of these roles. Even if they are one that is below your experience level.

Of course, the truth is that potential employers don’t see you as a serious candidate because they recognize you have sent them a one size fits all application. But as they don’t reply, no one will explain this to you, and it can sabotage your motivation in you job search completely.


Not using a hiring agency


hiring Some people also make the mistake of not approaching an employment agency to help them with the application process. This might be because of they feel they have to do it on their own. Or that they have had a bad experience with one in the past.

But in today’s job market, agencies are perfectly located to help you find an available position. It’s their business to know which companies are hiring at what time. They also often have great relationships with the HR departments so they can get access to upcoming positions that have not been advertised formally yet. This is something that can really give the edge in finding the perfect job role.

Also, agencies are a wealth of information and experience in terms of landing a job. If they think your resume needs work, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it does. If they think you’re not quite right for a position, then it’s likely that this is true. Remember they have a real insight into what the company that has the role on offer does and what the department actually needs.


Having an old-fashioned resume     


resumeIt is also crucial to have a modern resume when going through the application process for a new job. This is because the way that they look and the information that is presented on them has changed a lot over the years.

Your resume should be professional looking, neat and easy to read. It should also list your key skills first, as well as a very short summary of your education and experience. Keep things relevant here as no one cares about the cycling proficiency test you took when you were 13 unless you are going for a cycling instructor role.

Also ensure that it all fits on a single page, and use graphics where possible to show things that you have achieved in your working life. Such as increases in productivity, sales, or performance.

Lastly, keep the font and colors basic. A little splash of color in a line or border may be appropriate to grab the reviewer’s attention but don’t over do it. Also, a modern font used throughout is best, so avoid anything too fancy or different sizes as this can make thing seems confused.  


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