These common job hunting mistakes can be holding you back from taking the next step in your career. And the worst part is, you may not even know it. And when you’ve put in hours of your life becoming invested in a job opportunity, it can be all the more crushing to be rejected and not know why.
Which is why we’ve put together a short list of the most common job hunting mistakes we see, so you can avoid them in your job search and land your new dream job.
One of the biggest errors we see candidates make in their job search, actually takes place before they even start their job search! And it’s that when people start looking for their next job, they’re not entirely sure of what they want from their career.
Which is a big question to ask yourself. But when you aren’t sure where you want to end up, it could take actually applying for jobs and getting into an interview to realise that the job you’re interviewing for isn’t the one you want at all. Or even worse, you could be three months into the new job before you realise this, and end up in the same position you’re in now.
Some questions to ask yourself before you start your job search could be:
Your CV is the most important tool you have for searching for your new job. A well-written CV that is tailored to the job you’re applying for is essential to securing an interview. But in the same vein, a poorly written CV or a CV that isn’t optimised for the job that you’re applying for will actively hurt your job search.
While the job’s you apply for are likely to be similar in nature, they won’t be exactly the same. And you should endeavour to match the skills and experience that the job advert asks for, with examples from your employment history.
Additionally, many large companies use Applicant Screening Software. This software scans a CV for certain “keywords”, and if your CV doesn’t contain any, it can discard your application before a real human ever sees your CV. This software is predominantly used by large corporations and organisations that see thousands of applications regularly, but is still something to bear in mind.
LinkedIn can be a fantastic tool for finding your next job search, and it is one that a lot of job seekers sorely neglect. While it has its own job board like Indeed that you can use to search for roles currently being advertised (and you should!) LinkedIn’s strength also comes from its opportunity to network with professionals that work in your industry.
Posting on LinkedIn that you’re looking for a new role and asking your connections and network to share it is a great way to get your name in front of the eyes of hiring managers in your industry. And some of your connections may even be aware of some job openings themselves. Although this does carry the risk of catching the eye of your current employer.
LinkedIn also has an “Open to Work” setting, that shows everyone who sees your profile that you’re searching for new opportunities. Although LinkedIn does take steps to hide your colleagues and employer from seeing this, it does put a disclaimer that this isn’t flawless.
If you’re looking for more information on how to use LinkedIn to help you in your job search, click here to find out more.
Revising (we know, it sounds like you’re back in school) for your interview questions is possibly the most important bit of interview prep you can do. Because the difference in quality between an answer that was created on the fly, versus one that was prepared earlier is sometimes obvious to the hiring manager. But just winging it and not doing some interview prep, is one of the biggest job hunting mistakes you can make.
And while you could in theory face any question in an interview, realistically, you can safely predict a majority of the questions that you will face.
For a quick example, if you’re interviewing for an Account Manager position you can predict questions based around: Client management, team management, and maybe even new business acquisition.
And knowing this, you can research the questions you are likely to face. You can prepare answers, examples and statistics that you can adapt to fit the different questions you face from interview to interview.
For more information on preparing for the interview questions you are likely to face, have a look at our comprehensive guide with questions, examples and answers here.
On the other hand, it’s important that you have spent some time preparing questions for the interviewer. Insightful questions about the role and the company can help separate you from the rest of the competition.
Aim to ask a few questions to show that you’re interested in the position and to even create a connection with the interviewer. These questions can take a few different avenues for you to explore:
We advise asking 2 – 3 questions as a minimum. And some of the questions you have will likely be answered over the course of the interview, so prepare a few more just to be safe.
So you’ve made it through the interview, crushed the questions you were asked, and even asked some insightful questions of your own. You’re almost done, but there is one last thing for you to do.
While it sounds simple, reiterating that you’re still interested in the position and looking forward to hearing from the interviewer shows that you’re eager and passionate about the position. And helps to end your interview on a positive note.
Small job hunting mistakes like this may not be the end of the world. But they are small things you can do to tip the scales in your favour.
Another step you can take to show your interest and set yourself apart from other candidates is sending a short follow-up, thank you email to the hiring manager. When an interviewer may interview numerous candidates in short succession, it can be hard to stand out. Sending a short follow-up email acts as a quick reminder, and brings you to the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind.
If your interview didn’t go to plan, small things like this aren’t going to save you. But they can help tip the scales in your favour when it’s close.
And it’s also a good opportunity to reiterate some of the points you made in your interview, and remind the hiring manager why you’re such a great candidate for the position.
If you want more information on the different kinds of follow-up emails you can send, have a look at our guide, with templates, here.
Not working with a recruitment agency that specialises in your niche can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your job search.
A recruitment agency can offer you insight into the current state of your job market. This can include realistic salary expectations so you don’t sell yourself short, help you to prepare for your interviews, and offer support with tasks and presentations you need to complete in your interviews.
For example, as a digital marketing recruitment agency, we can give insight to SEO’s on what the clients we are working with are most looking for. Whether it’s Google Analytics 4 or experience of using AI to support your work.
Even if you don’t find your next job through the recruiter or recruitment agency you work with. A good recruiter will be happy to provide plenty of insight and knowledge that can support you through your journey. So they can build a strong relationship with you, so you’ll work with them or recommend them to others.
Here at Herd, we don’t just find you jobs and find our clients digital marketers. We support you through the interview process, so you can avoid making these common job hunting mistakes in your job search.
We're here to help. Check out our FAQs, send us an email or call us on 0208 629 6006.