Do You Make These Mistakes While Job Hunting?
Do you know why it's actually a mistake to spend hours and hours perfecting your resume?
Did you know that applying to dozens of jobs actually makes it LESS likely to get hired?
If you ‘re trying to increase your odds of getting hired, did you know that practicing your interviewing skills is actually one of the least important things you could do... and often a complete waste of time?
These are just a few examples of innocent mistakes almost everyone makes when job hunting.
But they're minor compared to the most common – and worst – mistake of all... not knowing how to position yourself as the #1 candidate in a crowded job market.
Here's the problem.
Competition for jobs has become so overwhelming that a single advertisement in a major newspaper can bring in more than 500 people... all fighting to get hired.
That's more than 2 large mail sacks filled to the brim with applications – from a single advertisement.
Because the hiring companies are so overwhelmed with job applicants they are becoming more and more picky. They'll interview dozens of people before picking someone for the job.
How can you beat odds like that?
In such a crowded job market, and with unemployment so high, it's unlikely you'll get the job unless you can find a way to stand out from the crowd. So you can make it to the “short list” of finalists they are considering for the position... and then get invited back to hear those magic words: “You're Hired.”
And standing out from the competition isn't as difficult as it may seem... IF you know what to do...
You see, the reason most people struggle to stand out from the competition is that they are conducting their job hunt ALL the wrong way.
Mistake #1: Spending too much time perfecting your CV
For example, most people spend their time polishing their resume. This isn't surprising considering most websites and magazines will give you tip after tip about how to write the “perfect” resume... insisting it's the key to getting hired.
Studies done by employment hiring agencies have found, however, that the candidates with the most impressive resumes usually don't get the job.
Mistake #2: Overstressing about your interview skills
Also, most people will tell you to work on your interviewing skills.
But – in reality – having interviewing skills is rather useless unless you can get an interview in the first place.
And in a crowded job market, getting the interview is tougher than ever. Not to mention, it's much more powerful to simply have an existing relationship with the interviewer BEFORE the interview starts. If that relationship is already in place, the interview is a fairly simple process.
Mistake #3: Working on your “soft skills”
And to make matters worse, virtually every website and job hunting magazine is telling you to develop “intangible soft skills” like being credible, being reliable, having logical reasoning abilities, having a strong work ethic, looking presentable, having a positive attitude and working well with others. But AGAIN these are all just the price of entry. It gets you considered for the job, but dozens or hundreds of other people are all being considered too, and they're ALL doing the same things.
What they are not telling you
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that having a decent resume or being decent at interviews isn't important. The problem is that these are just the “price of entry” considerations. You need them to even be considered for the job... but they aren't what WINs you the job. They aren't what makes you stand out. Because everyone else who is being considered for the job is doing those things too. Everyone is spending their time writing and rewriting their resume to make it shine... or mastering every interview question they could be asked...when those are the least important pieces in the entire puzzle.
So you can likely understand why the average job advice isn't particularly helpful. And you may be beginning to realize why you've been struggling to get a job up until now... It's outrageous that no one else is talking about this epic fraud!
But here's the good news. Since almost everyone else wastes their time focusing on the prices of entry, almost no one is standing out in a significant way. So if you take the time to make sure you DO stand out, you're likely to be one of the ONLY people doing so... making it easier to get the interview... and get hired...
And all it takes is applying some simple rules of effective self-marketing.
So what do I do?
Most job seekers struggle to get hired because they assume that every job opportunity is equally important. They'll apply to dozens or hundreds of jobs... sending each one a quick resume then moving onto the next job listing. They think all they need to do is apply to as many jobs as possible... and that will give them the best odds of being hired...
But nothing could be further from the truth...
Confidence and commitment beats the perfect resume
Everyone else is taking that same approach. So when you do it too, it makes you just another face in the crowd. Someone interested enough to send their resume, but not someone who is committed.
What a hiring manager really wants to see is someone they can be confident in hiring. It's their job to find the right candidates. And if they hire the wrong candidate, it could cost their company thousands or even millions of dollars (and if they get it wrong, it could possibly cost them their job too)... so if you want to stand out, you need to make them feel SAFE in hiring you. You need to show them that you are not just qualified but COMMITTED.
Here's the good news: making sure they see you as the #1 candidate is a fairly simple process... IF you know what to do..
How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market
The solution is as simple as this. You have only so much time and energy to invest into your job search.
The golden rule less is more also applies to job searching:
Instead of spending your time applying to as many places as you can... apply to a smaller number of places, but spend more time applying to each one. If you do this right, it usually actually takes you LESS time overall while making you three times more likely to get hired.
Here's where to get started:
Step #1: Create a broad job list
The first place to start is by making a list of all the jobs you might consider applying for. This step applies either you want to find a job as soon as possible, or you are trying to find the BEST job you can get.
The most important thing to do during this step is cast a wide net. You want to gather a large list of potential jobs. Because if you start with a larger list, you'll be more likely to find the best jobs for you in the next step.
If you aren't sure how to keep your list organized, you might consider using a microsoft word document or a spreadsheet.
At this step, it's also important to not agonize over which jobs you should add to your list. These are just “maybes.” If you think it might be one of the best ones for you, just add it to the list. We'll sort the list and find the best ones in the next step. If you try to agonize over the decisions at this step, it will take a lot longer overall, and be a more frustrating process.
Step #2: Narrow down your list
Once you've gathered a list of jobs you might considering applying to... you'll want to take the time to reduce the list. To do that, you need to have a good idea of what traits are important to you in a job. So, take the time to write down some notes about which type of job is best for you. What pay do you want, how soon do you need to start, and so on.
Then, just compare the jobs on your list based on those criteria. Keep deleting the less desirable jobs from your list until only 10-20% of them remain (but avoid keeping more than 15-20 jobs in total).
Now, armed with this final list of jobs, you are in a great position. Because you know these are the best jobs for you, you know you can justify spending more time trying to get them. Also, because you are applying to fewer jobs, you know you have the time available to spend more time applying for them... and if you use the technique in the next step, you'll be treated well instead of being treated like a commodity.
Step #3: Move your way up the candidate list
Here's the quickest and easiest way to stand out when applying for a job. Almost no one ever does this, so it gives you an almost unfair edge. And – in most cases – will make you at least three times more likely to get hired... and make you the #1 candidate more often than you'd ever believe.
For each job on your final list, complete the following process.
- Create a general CV template with some basic info about you.
Create a similar template for your cover letter. Use Google Drive, so you can edit them easily. Before you apply for any job, you will adjust these templates based on the job descriptions.
First impressions matter. Either we like it or not. Especially when we talk about your CV. A lot of recruiters or HR managers only scan through potential employees CVs for a mere few seconds (if you are lucky) and decide whether they like it or not!
So make sure yours contains all the important information in an easy to read format (eg bulleted) and contains the important keywords-skills the hiring manager wants to see.
- Tailor your CV & cover letter for each position applied for.
Take the time to write a custom resume and cover letter.
Tailor it to this job specifically. An easy way to do this is to take what they said in their job listing, and just feed it back to them. So if they said they need someone dependable, tell them you understand they are looking for someone who is dependable.
Then prove to them that you offer that quality they are looking for. For example, you might give an example of a time when your dependability paid off at a previous job or on a previous project you were involved in.
Repeat the same process for the other qualities they said they need in an applicant (without lying or exaggerating of course). Whatever you do, though, avoid the temptation to make it “perfect.”
- Do your research.
An important tip a lot of job-hunters forget about is researching the company they are applying for and even the person that will be conducting the interview. This is not the step to get lazy. Find them on LinkedIn and start gathering information that will might be useful for the interview.
Study what the company website and the web says about your future employers to find out more about their people, company policy, achievements or other important details that may be useful for your interview.
You can also dig a little a further and research your interviewer/hiring manager (Linkedin will also come in handy for this)
Who knows..you may share something in common with your interviewers that will set you apart from your competition!
- Don't forget to follow-up!
When it comes to job applications, you should always follow-up. Make it a habit.Even though it is just a simple email, it shows that you are really care about the job and you didn’t apply there accidentally. It’s a big part of the self-marketing we talk about.
* Bonus tip
If you get rejected find out why you didn’t get the job
A large part of the job hunting process is learning from past mistakes and constantly improving your interview skills.
So, if you get a rejection why not take the chance and learn from it instead of simply moving on to the next application?
Contact the person who interviewed you and politely ask for some pointers for future reference, so you can apply them to your future interviews. For example, perhaps your interviewer thought you had all the skills they wanted, but came across as unconfident.
This sort of input gives you the valuable information you need so you can work on the areas you need most, increasing your chances to get hired!