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The Most Common Mistakes Made by Job Seekers

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Over the years, recruiters have observed job seekers making the same mistakes over and over again and that too in spite of repeated reminders to not make these errors! By now, these mistakes have become common that hiring managers kind of expect the job seekers to make them and are genuinely surprised when a candidate does not make any of these oft-repeated errors. Hence, avoiding these errors may just make you stand out in front of your recruiter and increases your chances of a successful job search.

Here are some of these most commonly made mistakes:

The Most Common Mistakes Made by Job Seekers
Focusing only on one position: While knowing what you want and going for it is a good trait, head-hunters find it exceptionally frustrating when their candidates just attend one interview and then sit back and wait for the offer. Such a laidback attitude to your job search may not go down very well with your head-hunter and he/she may lose interest in helping your find your dream job. Also, this may keep you ignorant of better options if you are not even interested in looking at the other available options. And, if that one offer does not come through, you have just wasted valuable time waiting for something that's not going to happen.

Rejecting an opportunity on the basis of only the job description: Most entry-level candidates do not even consider going for an interview if the job description does not describe their dream job. By doing so, they pass on the opportunity to meet with the hiring coordinator in person and explore the various options available at the company. In the words, relying on just the job description may result in their losing an opportunity to find their dream job. And, at the end of it, they lose out on valuable interview experience as well. What they do not understand is that attending an interview does not necessarily mean that an offer will be rolled out to them and that they have to accept the job come what may.

Having an imperfect thank you note: Well, if you are going to say thank you, you might as well say it the right way. Don't write an essay on why you are perfect for the job in a thank you note. Nobody likes to see a paragraph version of your resume when you are thanking them. Similarly, don't just write a line saying "Thank you for your time. I appreciate it." A perfect thank you note should be about five to eight sentences long and should briefly state the value you can add to the company if selected for the job.

Giving references without screening them first: Don't just write out the first three names that come to your mind when you are asked to provide references. Think of some professional references, preferably your past supervisors or managers, prior to the interview and ask them whether it is Ok with them if you cite them as your references. At the end of the day, the hiring manager is going to call them and check your story out, so they should be comfortable talking about you and recommending you for the job.

Being unappreciative of others: Hiring managers and recruiters are becoming quite savvy and are taking more potential candidates out to lunch just to see how these candidates behave with people below their station. Hence, being rude to a waiter may just bring down your chances of landing the job although you are quite qualified for the position.

Carrying around a messy briefcase: A messy briefcase denotes an unorganized person who doesn't really care about the importance of his work. Such people are definitely not on the top of the hiring manager's wish list. Hence, you may want to organize the stuff in your briefcase in case you need to open it in front of the recruiter.

Reluctance to accept temporary positions: Many companies recovering from the effects of the recession do not want to hire a full-time employee unless they are sure that the employee will contribute considerably to the company's growth. Hence, they opt for hiring temporary employees and then offer these people full-time positions if they are happy with the employees' work. Therefore, do not pass up on a good opportunity just because it is a contractual job. At the very least, if you do well in the position, you will get a good reference for another position in the future.

Including a long work history: A long work history just adds to the bulk of your resume and discourages a recruiter from reading it. Nobody wants to know what your first job out of college was, if you have been working for 20years now. All they are interested in knowing is what you have been up to in the last 10 years and how those skills can be transferred to the new position.

Using your work email address on your resume: Your work emails are your current employer's property and putting down your work email id on you resume just tells you potential employer that you have no qualms about using company property for your personal benefit. Trust me, this is not the first impression you want to make on your prospective employer.

Taking "no" to be the final answer: More often than not, a "no" means that you are not accepted for the current position. It does not mean that you will never be suitable for any other position in that company. Hence, it pays to send a thank you note to the hiring manager even if you are not selected for the current opening and wishing the company well. This small gesture will earn you some extra brownie points and the hiring manager will remember you when the next opening comes up.

Having a heavily bulleted resume: Bullets are a great tool to attract the recruiter's eye to some important professional achievements and hence, should be used wisely. Not everything should go as a bulleted point on your resume. A good way to use bullets is to use them for information that can fit on a single line and that focuses on a result of your efforts at work.

Avoiding the abovementioned pitfalls in you job search will help you get noticed by hiring managers and thereby increase your chances of getting selected for the job. A little attention to detail and some consciousness of the gravity of a job search is all that is required to avoid making these mistakes. Good luck with your job search!
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By using Employment Crossing, I was able to find a job that I was qualified for and a place that I wanted to work at.
Madison Currin - Greenville, NC
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