7 Mistakes That Could Be Stalling Your Job Search

7 Job Search Mistakes to Be Aware Of

If you’re searching for a job in 2021, there’s good news. A January 2021 study by the Harris Poll found 46% of hiring decision-makers plan to increase their employee count in Q1 2021.

When you’re on the job hunt, you’ll want to watch out for these seemingly minor job search mistakes that could make a big impact and affect how long it takes to get hired.

1. Your Resume Isn’t Optimized for ATS

An ATS is an applicant tracking system. These digital systems demand correct formatting in order for the technology to read and filter your resume correctly. Some simple formatting errors could cause your resume to get lost in the system and prevent it from getting in front of the right eyes.

Everything from the graphic design in a resume to the order you list things can affect how a resume interacts with an ATS. It’s best to use a simple template that will be optimally read by the system as it scans your data.

2. Your Resume Is Too Long or Too Short

If your resume is more than two pages or less than a page long, that could give hirers the wrong impression. When we’re providing resume services at HiConsulting Services, we aim to create resumes that are a full two pages, that highlight the most relevant work experience for the job you want.

Aim to go back around 5-10 years of work experience in your resume. If you want to highlight accomplishments beyond that time frame, you can list notable ones in a career highlights section or list additional experience in its own section.

3. Your Resume Isn’t Optimized for the Job Description

Part of getting noticed in an ATS and by hirers is optimizing your resume with keywords that match what hirers are looking for and have listed in a job description. It’s better to be simple and straightforward in a resume, rather than get cutesy or creatively descriptive.

According to “Inc.,” the average corporate job attracts 250 resumes. Hirers scan resumes to find keywords that relate to the job opening. Your resume should be crafted for scanning and ATS in mind.

4. You Don’t Have an Optimized LinkedIn Profile

If you don’t have an optimized LinkedIn profile, or a LinkedIn profile at all, that could be slowing down your job search. A study by CareerBuilder found 70% of employers check social media to screen candidates by hiring. How you represent yourself online matters.

That’s why we recommend for candidates to 1) optimize their LinkedIn profile before they apply for jobs and 2) add their LinkedIn profile link to their resumes. That way, hirers can view their profile, connections, experience, recommendations, skills and more, which may positively influence a hiring decision.

5. You Don’t Thank Your Interviewer

After you make it to an interview stage, it’s crucial to send a note to the person who interviewed you that you appreciate their time. This step, and whether or not you do it, can leave a lasting impression that seals or breaks the deal.

A thank you letter should be genuine and reinforce why you’re grateful for the opportunity to interview for that specific job. Reiterate something you talked about during the interview. Include a call to action for the interviewer, such as, “I look forward to talking with you again soon.”

It’s perfectly fine to email the thank you note these days – no need to write one off and wait for it to arrive to them in the mail.

6. You Freeze During Interviews

Public speaking can make even the most experienced communicators nervous. A job interview is sort of like public speaking. If you’re interviewing with multiple people or a full panel, the experience can be even more nerve-wracking.

That’s why interview preparation is so important. You don’t want to spend so much time perfecting a resume and going through a job search only to flounder during an interview. Try to practice with someone before your interview. Research typical questions you’ll be asked. Then, have someone you trust ask you them and provide feedback.

7. You’re Not Sending an Optimized Cover Letter

In most cases, you should send a cover letter when you apply for a job. Unless the job description specifically says not to, a cover letter gives you an additional opportunity to sell yourself to the hirer. You can create a compelling narrative that describes you as a candidate and explain why you’re the right fit for the job.

Keep a cover letter to one page. Address the hirer by name if you have that information. Tell a story that characterizes you as a professional, that explains why you’re interested in the position and that details what you can contribute based on your experience. Make sure each cover letter you send is unique and tailored to the job you’re applying to.

Avoid Mistakes Like These: Work with a Job Search Expert

If your job search has been taking longer than you’d like, working with a resume writer, interview preparer and cover letter writer may be a good investment. Things like typos, missing information and unoptimized resumes and LinkedIn profiles may hurt an applicant’s likelihood of making it to the interview stage. During an interview, it’s crucial to present yourself in a way that sells your abilities and potential to contribute to an organization.

HiConsulting Services can help with issues like these. Contact us for a free job search consultation to see how we can assist you.