There’s no denying that finding a job in this market can be tough. In fact, an average of 118 people apply for any given job opening and only 20% of those applicants are offered an interview. If you are struggling to make your resume stand out or to shine in an interview, you may be falling victim to some of the common job hunting mistakes.
When it comes to tips and techniques to sell yourself in an interview, many of the tips and techniques taught by Sandler can be applied to a job search. Making a few tweaks to your process could help you land the job of your dreams.
Ask yourself the following questions and if you’re not answering ‘yes’ to each one then you may want to make some changes before you apply for the next position.
- Are you utilizing your entire existing network? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, people in your network are willing to help you. It’s as easy as asking someone to meet for coffee or requesting an informational interview. Use your network to gather leads about potential job openings and to understand more about the fields that pique your interest.
- Did you do some research? Before you apply for any position, you should be researching the company, trends in the industry and current events related to that company. When you’re ready to apply for the job, use the information you’ve gathered to enhance your cover letter and resume. Take this one step further and do some research on your interviewer if possible. You might find that you attended the same college or have something in common that can be used to break the ice.
- Are your cover letter and resume customized? Refer to your research and tailor each cover letter and resume to the specific company and/or job opening. Note the experience and skills required for the job and make a point to draw direct comparisons to you and the expectations of the new employee. Recruiters notice when you take the time to personalize the materials you submit.
- Did you carefully proof read? The fastest way to get your resume thrown in the ‘no’ pile is if it contains spelling or grammar errors. These small mistakes tell recruiters you didn’t care enough about the job to take five minutes to proof read. Make a concerted effort to proof your resume and cover letter and ask someone else to review them before you hit send.
- Have you cleaned up your social media presence? Human resources professionals research potential hires and often use social media to help them out. Do yourself a favor by removing unprofessional photos from your Facebook profile and boost your social presence by making sure your LinkedIn profile is polished and up to date. (Tip: If you’re interested in a specific field then show your POV and interest on the topic by sharing articles and commenting on stories related to your ideal career.)
- Did you practice? Once you’ve landed an interview, think about three to five questions an interviewer might ask you and practice your responses out loud. Practicing how you will respond now, will help you to be more confident and comfortable in person. Ask a friend to give you feedback and always double up on practicing the questions you dread the most.
- Did you follow up? After you’ve nailed the interview send a thank you note tailored to the recipient, sent either by email or snail mail. The purpose of sending a thank you note is to quickly remind your interviewer why you’d be great for the job and to re-emphasize your genuine interest in the opportunity.
Have you made mistakes that you’ve learned from during a past job search? Share your experiences in the comments below.