- Neglecting to network. With so many candidates applying for the same job, it’s all too easy to get lost in the shuffle. Make yourself top-of-mind (or even better a familiar face) by networking to get your name out there. Start with friends, friends of friends, and even family members, then broaden your network to former professors, job supervisors and college acquaintances. Branch out as much as possible. The sky is the limit when it comes to making contacts. In person is always great, but don’t forget the power of social networking on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—just remember to keep it professional at all times.
- Not scheduling time to hunt. Finding a job takes work—oh, the irony! Many grads fail to schedule the time required to undergo the tedious task of job hunting. But looking for a job takes time and dedication, so schedule job seeking into your day. Basically, treat your job hunt as your job and you’ll find a career much faster. Try giving it the same kind of time and attention that you would an actual paid position.
- Stale resume. Different jobs focus on different skills, so pumping out a one-size-fits-all resume may not accentuate the skill-set that matches the job you are applying for. For example, your prior experience as a bank teller can highlight your money-handling abilities for one application and your customer service skills for a different application. Always read through specific job descriptions extensively, notice exactly what the employer is looking for, and then highlight your expertise accordingly. A customized resume shines a bright light on your talents specific to each job.
- Too broad of a search. Your degree may qualify you for a variety of roles. An accounting degree, for example, can qualify you as a staff accountant, financial analyst, credit analyst, and auditor. Resist the temptation to apply for every job you are qualified for. Instead, focus your search onto a specific target that matches your best abilities and talents. If you’re unclear of what your career strong suit might be, seek out a career advisor for help.
- Unrealistic expectations. We all want the perfect job. It’s easy to build up some idealistic idea of what your job should be like. But it’s important to keep your expectations grounded, especially when you’re just starting out. Sure, you may get a job you don’t absolutely love to start, but don’t despair. A less-than-ideal job can give you invaluable experience and be the stepping stone to a better career down the road.
As you avoid these common mistakes, remember to keep your head up. Job hunting takes time but there is a world of possibilities out there. Be confident in your skills, stay positive, and you’ll be off to work in no time. If there’s anything we can do to help, please get in touch. Job hunting is what we do and love!