I was recently asked, "What are some of the biggest mistakes job seekers make on a regular basis?" Here are the most common job blunders that I run into a on daily basis (there are many more, but these are off of the top of my head). I also asked a couple of colleagues to weigh in and give their thoughts.
TOP MISTAKES MADE BY JOB SEEKERS
1. LACK OF PREPARATION. This is the biggest mistake a job seeker can make. Don't wing it! A job seeker that has not done any research or does not know about the job that he or she is interviewing for is a huge NO NO. Always be prepared for an interview. The internet is rich with resources to research organizations. Make sure you use it!
"The issue I have seen is job seekers not doing the homework on their end...they often don't read the full job description but apply because of a title keywork match...they also often don't know or understand what the company does before coming to interview in person...how can you convince me that you are excited about this opportunity and that you are a fit for the role without understanding the job and what the company does?" - Joanna Niezgoda, Director HR & Operations, Codifyd
"Not doing research on the companies they are interviewing for and not doing research on the PEOPLE they are meeting/interviewing with" - Amanda Schonfeld, Director Talent Acquisition, BeyondCurious
"When looking to break into an industry – hone in on what you’re looking for before reaching out.... do even baseline research and fall in love with something to begin with. You can always switch gears later. Focus. Get in the door. Learn. Grow. Pivot as your career allows." - Nicole Stanley, SVP Agency Operations & Talent, DigitasLBi
2. FAILURE TO NETWORK. Job seekers should avoid just applying to jobs online. Engage your network and ask for a referral. Employee referrals are highly regarded by most employers and it is easier to get your foot in the door through an introduction. Avoid being lost in a sea of internet resumes in the company's candidate database.
"You need to try and network your way to get in front of the recruiter. It's better than blind application." - Amanda Schonfeld.
3. RESUMES WITH SPELLING AND/OR GRAMMATICAL ERRORS. Your resume is a reflection of your attention to detail and communication skills, make sure you have your resume proofread by someone other than you. Use spellcheck and grammar tools. Know what is on your resume as well. Avoid reading it in the interview at all costs. Remember, it is your personal branding collateral!
4. BAD ATTITUDE. Show interest AND excitement about the job in the interview. Don't go over the top, but avoid playing it too cool. It's okay to say that you are interested in the positon during the course of the interview even if you are a passive job seeker. Also, avoid showing frustration with a company's recruiting process. Keep your feedback constructive if you have it. Remember, you want to put the ball in your court!
"Getting frustrated when you do not receive an immediate reply when you apply to the job. It does not necessarily mean you are not a fit." -Amanda Schonfeld
5. DRESSING SLOPPY. Dress professionally and appropriate for an interview. Depending on the company, stick with a basic blue or black suit or if you dress business casual, a nice pair of slacks with a button down shirt or blouse is best. Make sure your clothes are neat and pressed. Also, avoid too much make up or cologne. Ensure the focus is on you the person.
6.. SPEAKING NEGATIVE ABOUT PAST EMPLOYERS OR JOBS. Don't due it. Regardless of how difficult past experience(s) may have been, avoid "bad mouthing" past employers, jobs or managers. It will reflect poorly on you. We live in a small world, don't say anything about anyone that you don't want to be quoted.