Whether you have a job or you're currently looking for one, you can't afford to make mistakes in the process. There are far too many people competing for so few positions that the little things will make a huge difference in whether you get a job or not. Companies are under so much pressure to hire the right candidate that one mistake can cost you the job, whether it's on the resume you submit or during the interview process. There is so much you can do to prepare for a job search that there are no excuses for not getting it right the first time around, or at least learning from your mistakes thereafter.
Here are three ways you might be sabotaging your own efforts in job searching:
In a recent study by my company, we found that nearly everyone is using the Internet to find a job and not networking in person. You need to step away from your computer and meet people in person. It could be a cup of coffee, a networking event or a major conference. You need to be around people, especially those in your industry so you can make the right connections. People hire people, not machines. You should use the Internet as a filter to find the right people to meet in real life. LinkedIn, for instance, is a professional network directory that allows you to find people in your profession who work at certain companies in certain locations. That information is extremely useful for you because you can ask them if they are available to meet at a local coffee shop or at an event you're both going to.
It might seem basic, but many job seekers forget to create a cover letter (or are too lazy to make one). A cover letter not only shows your intent to work at the company, but your effort shows that you're serious about the position. A cover letter, just like your resume, should explain why your background makes you the best fit for the job. You need to connect the job description with your current experiences. It also helps to research the company and to speak with people who already work there before you create your cover letter. If you can write the cover letter in such a way that you're seen as the solution to their current problems, it will be much more effective.
The biggest complain that employers have is that job seekers are unprepared for interviews. The expectation that you know everything about the company is so much greater than years past because the information exists at your fingertips. You should review the corporate website, recent news such as product announcements, executive bios and the LinkedIn profiles of the people who will be interviewing you. Also, you should do mock interviews with a friend and bring physical copies of your resume to the interview. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be, and the more impressed they will be with you.