Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Common job-hunting mistakes and how to avoid them

So you have decided to look for work. That was the easy part, now you have to go job-hunting. Save your self some time and work; find out what are common job-hunting mistakes and how to avoid them. Hear are some questions you need to ask yourself

Are you treating looking for a job as a job? Are you put as much time and effort into it as you would be working for some one else? Or are you putting just enough time and effort to find a job ad and mail your resume in?

Where are you looking for jobs, are you limiting your opportunities? Most people just look at the ads in employment offices, newspapers and online. Other people will also use networking with friends and family to get unpublished job leads. Very few people think to find companies they would like to work for and then contact that company to see if there are any positions open or coming up. Yes, the dreaded cold calling a company. If done right this is a great tool. You already have a head start on getting a job with the company; it is a great way to make a good impression. If you get a rapport with the HR department, or other contacts in the company they might contact you when a position comes up. Did you sign up with any and all temporary employment companies? A lot of companies prefer to let them do the recruiting and interviewing for them and then see if the person sent over works out. It is a good way to keep working when looking and gives you a chance at jobs that may never be posted. Also a good temporary employment company will do the work for you, to find the right job for you. They don’t get paid unless you are working.

What type of jobs are you looking for? Are you shopping for the best job for you or just any old job? What criteria do you have? Why waste your time looking at jobs that don’t meet your criteria? If the job does not meet your requirements you’re not going to want the job any way. What criteria you ask: Is it a job you are actually interested in? Is it a job you can do? Is it in a location you can easily get to? Is this job going to take you to where you want to be in your career, or is it a dead end job? Will the hours work with your schedule?

Have you done your research both in your abilities, the company and the job? Do you know what your abilities and skills are? Have you confidence in your abilities and skills. Do you know what your transferable skills are? Are you over-qualified, under-qualified for the positions you are looking at? What are the requirements of the job you are looking at? What do you know about the company, their needs and how you would fit in? Did you make sure your cover letter and resume are targeted to the job and company you are applying to? Or did you just look at the ad and say I think I can do this and sent your resume to them?

Did you just send or drop your resume off and moved on to the next job posting? Did you call to confirm they received your resume or to find out when they would be doing interviews? Why would you call? So that they know your name, and you stand out from the 100’s of other people who just gave them their resume.

You have the interview, now what mistakes do you need to avoid. Yes the interview is still part of the job hunting. If you do every thing right but mess up in the interview your not going to get the job. Here are some things you need to do to be prepared for the interview.

Be early.
Don’t be eating or drinking when you come in or are waiting in the reception area.
Be polite, courteous and professional to every one you come in contact with. You have no idea who they are or what they are in the company.
Dressed appropriately for that industry. For most jobs it is a suit you need to be in. For construction or plant work still wear the suit but bring a change of clothing and safety gear so you can take a tour. No matter what the job is take extra effort on your appearance.
Have several copies of your resume and cover letter with you. You always have one for yourself, and one for each of the people interviewing you. You may not always know how many people will be in the interview so make sure you have extra copies.
Never show if you were a disgruntled employee or have hard feelings toward past employers.
Be honest and confident about your abilities and skills.
Make sure you did your research. Try to figure out what you can do for the company before hand so that when they ask you questions you can give them answers relevant to them and their needs.
Have several copies of your references. Make sure your references are relevant and meet the company’s references requirements. Make sure the people on your reference list know that they are on it and to expect a call.

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