Job hunting is an involved process. You have to find a job you think you’ll enjoy and decide if you’re qualified for that position, then you have to apply. After that, it can be a waiting game before you hear anything back, and if you do, then you have to prepare for the interview.
Long before you set foot in the office to talk to your potential employer, they’ve already formed an opinion about you. Make sure you put your best foot forward from the very beginning. Below are a few common mistakes you’ll want to avoid making.
- Mistakes on Your Cover Letter and Resume
If you want to make a good first impression, make sure your cover letter and resume are free of grammatical and spelling errors. These are the first introductions a potential employer has to assess your skills and ability to do the job, so do what you can to make sure it’s error free.
If you need to, have an editor or a friend look over your cover letter and resume to ensure it reads well. In addition, make sure your cover letter gives the employer the right information about you so they can make an informed decision.
- Unprofessional Posts on Social Media
There was a time when people didn’t grow up with social media (weird, huh?), so they didn’t have the opportunity to post stories and pictures from all the happenings in their life for the entire world to see.
There’s a fine line between your privacy on social media and what is public. You have the freedom to post whatever you want on your social media page, but keep in mind that potential employers are probably checking out your posts to judge if you’ll be a good employee for their business.
In a recent study, it was found that 70% of employers will look at a candidate’s social media pages or search for them online. If you want to increase your chances of getting hired, clean up your posts and use your online presence to cultivate a professional persona.
This also goes for your email address. If you want to be taken seriously and viewed as a professional, then it’s a good idea to have an email address that reflects that. While it’s fine to be catlover821 for friends and family, you might consider opening another account just for employer contacts. There are numerous free email sites, and you should consider creating an address that is a variation of your name for employers to send information to.
- Not Conducting Research
If you’re invited to interview with a company, spend some time learning about them before going in. Most businesses nowadays have an online presence and/or website, so check out what they do. If they have an “About” page or a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, read through them to understand what working for the company might be like.
You never know if the interviewer is going to ask what you know about the company. More than likely, they’ll be interviewing several candidates, so stand out from the others by being able to answer that question intelligently and efficiently. It also shows that you’re seriously interested in the position. I mean, in all honesty, shouldn’t you want to know all about the company that you’ll potentially be spending 8+ hours a day working for?
- Not Dressing for Success
Show potential employers that you are a professional and take yourself seriously. While every industry is different, the rule of thumb is to show up to an interview looking professional. Even if the company’s dress code allows for jeans, show up to the interview in business casual. It’s never a good idea to be too casual for an interview.
- Not Asking Questions
There’s always a point in the interview when the potential employer will ask if you have any questions. If you’ve done your research, you should already have some background information about the company, but maybe there’s something more you want to know that they didn’t talk about on their website. Ask.
Asking some of the following questions will also let them know you’re interested in the job:
- Ask about the company’s culture
- Ask about management expectations
- Ask if they can describe their ideal candidate
- Ask if there is the chance to move up within the company
- Ask if there is anything you can do to follow up.
Avoiding these common job application process mistakes will help you make an impression and potentially land that new job. Then, you’ll also want to know the ins and outs of accepting that job offer. But before that happens, you’ll have to put the best you on display — show your potential employer that you have the skills and ability to do the job they need you to do!
Featured image via screenshot from Younger