Looking for a new job can be a demoralising, long-winded process. From rejection emails or no response from potential employers to tough interviews, it’s time to stop wondering what you’re doing wrong.
You Have No Career Plans
If you want an employer to invest time, resources and money into you, a career plan is essential to convince them it’s worthwhile. This doesn’t mean you need a strict five-year plan in place, but an employer wants to know they’re not going to make an investment, only to have you turn around and decide that actually, it’s not what you wanted after all.
So show some vision and drive. Have something to work towards, even if it’s general in nature. It’s far better than having no plan at all and will certainly help win more prospective employers over.
Your Resume Sucks
Wondering why you’re not getting interviews? Check out your resume. The length of a resume should match the experience of the position. For entry level positions, less is more. For those with a bit more experience, keep it concise, relevant and focused.
Make sure the format, spelling and grammar are all spot on. Get someone else to check over and proof read it before applying for jobs. There’s nothing worse than a sloppy spelling mistake costing you a shot at an interview.
You Put The M and the E in Team
If you’re more interested in yourself and things like sick days, holidays, raises and promotions than the overall objectives of the company, it’s pretty obvious. Remember employers want to know how you can add value to a team and what you’ll do to contribute. Take the focus off yourself, at least during the application and hiring process, and concentrate instead on team work and working collaboratively.
This is a broad-ranging area, covering things like attire, punctuality and communication skills. When attending interviews, dress for the job you ultimately want, not the job you’re interviewing for. It’s better to be conservative here.It’s a no-brainer to get to the interview on time. Plan to get there early, account for traffic, parking, finding your way around and going through security or filling out documentation.
It’s also important to take a look at your online presence. Are your social media profiles suitable? Make sure the content on there isn’t going to ruin your chances at a job, so delete any photos, videos or posts that aren’t appropriate.
Asking questions in your application that are answered in the job ad or attending an interview with no background research shows you haven’t put a lot of thought into the company or position. It’s not hard to do some research. Check out the company’s website and look up the interviewers on LinkedIn and Twitter. Being well prepared shows you’re committed to the company and eager to get on board. It’ll also help you come up with some killer conversation starters.
Stretching the truth on a resume might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s easy to spot an exaggerator and there’s nothing worse than being called out in a job interview. Even worse if you get the job and then get stuck in over your head. So, be honest with your experience, credentials and skills. It’ll be more likely you find a suitable job which will lead to greater satisfaction.
You Have No Skills
It can be a bit of a catch-22 when jobs are asking for experience without any way of getting that experience. But with a little work, there are plenty of ways to appear in sync with an industry without the formality of full-time work. Whether it’s being involved at university or other social clubs, interning or volunteering, think about what you enjoy and how it can help build up your experience and skills in the workplace.
Main pic: Caro Wallis via Flickr.