5 biggest job seekers mistakes and how to avoid them

Job seekers mistakes and how to avoid them by Ela Moscicka

Let’s talk about some of the most common job seekers mistakes. Plus, learn the tips on how to avoid them and land your dream job in tech!

1. Job search without a plan

This is definitely the “number 1” mistake that I’ve seen throughout my recruitment career, or even now while mentoring others or providing personalised career consultation sessions.

Lack of plan can significantly slow down your job search process or make it even impossible for you to get hired.

Ask yourself if you have ever done one (or more) from the below list:

  • not spending time researching the market and just blindly applying to companies
  • sending your application to every open position that you’re interested in (or the ones you belive you’re qualified for)
  • sending outdated CV / resume
  • having a LinkedIn profile just because someone told you that it’s necessary, but not spending time on updating and polishing it
  • replying “I’m interested” under other’s people posts on social media and not doing any follow ups

Follow tips from my article “How to look for a job?”

2. Sending general / outdated CV (or the one containing mistakes)

Using a CV template is OK as long as you customize it so it reflects your knowledge and experience. Also, remember to always keep it updated.

I’ve had numerous amount of conversations with job seekers who were sending me outdated CVs or where an important change wasn’t reflected just because they…forget about it and were mentioning it only during the job interview process.

Having errors or mistakes such as not working hyperlinks is another quite common mistake (especially among the Engineers). I strongly advise you to double-check all of them before applying for a job.

Keep in mind that CV is one of those things where “one-size-fits-all” approach won’t work.

Tailoring it to the specific role should be on top of your list.

Pro Tip: think about how you’re using the space that is available to you.

CV packed with infographic (timelines, graphs, icons or bar charts) might be less readible or even less understandable for people reviewing it.

Here you can find my tweet and conversation

Check my article “How to write a CV?”

3. Leaving your Linkedin profile blank

I’m very active online (mostly LinkedIn & Twitter) and here’s something I’ve been hearing/reading a lot from other people:
LinkedIn isn’t working for me!” or “I’ve created a LinkedIn profile, waited for a few months and no one ever reached out to me!”.

Here’s the truth: No one will ever reach out to you if all you have is the job title of your current/last employer.

Leaving your LinkedIn profile empty is one of those big job seekers mistakes.

There’s a significant difference between “I’m on LinkedIn” vs I’ve up to date LinkedIn profile“.

LinkedIn is all about the keywords. That’s it. That’s all the magic behind it.

Recruiters are looking for candidates using keywords. Empty profile without them won’t be even showing in the search results.

I totally understand the frustration behind the job search process. But you need to understand that people won’t be even aware of your presence there when your profile is missing some key facts.

As I was mentioning in this article, companies do have their own internal recruitment teams and / or are using external recruitment agencies to help them find and attract future employees. And while there are many ways of how to do it, many Recruiters / Talent Sourcers will always start their searches from LinkedIn.

Don’t eliminate yourself from the game and let others discover your profile.

Check my article with top LinkedIn profile tips that have helped people land new jobs

4. Underestimating the power of networking & online presence

Those 2 areas are something that can signficantly speed up your job search process and put you ahead of others.

How?

Imagine we have candidate A and candidate B (let’s agree they’re both women). Both of them are about to graduate from a university / finish a coding bootcamp / have similar working experience.

But there’s one huge difference between them: in addition to the above, candidate A created a profile on social media where she was sharing her coding journey with others. Not only she became a part of the community, but also started networking with others.

Thanks to that she found out about some online/offline events/meetups, which of course she attended as well. After some time (and with the encouragment from the community she was already a part of) she decided to sign up as a speaker.

Later she became more confident in her technical skills and started teaching others during programming workshops. There she met another group of people and broader her network.

In the meantime she created a GitHub account where she kept track of her coding projects and a LinkedIn profile in order to showcase her skills, knowledge and to be able to connect with other professionals.

After some time people started recognizing her and companies/organizations were inviting her to be a speaker at their events.

Who do you think will have higher chances of being noticed and get a message from Recruiters while still studying / going through the bootcamp / working at the previous company?

The answer is simple: Candidate A.

The above is not a sci-fi story, but something I’m seeing quite often happening in real life.

Of course, it does require time, dedication and isn’t something that can happen overnight.

5. Not preparing for a job interview

Invite for a job interview is already a great achievement, but it doesn’t guarantee you landing a job.

One of the job seekers mistakes that I’ve seen happening quite often is joining the job interview call without a preparation. This is a mistake that can cause you getting a job!

Your preparation should include at least:

  • doing the research about the company (check their website)
  • learning more about your interviewers (you can do that via LinkedIn)
  • preparing your list of questions
  • practicing answering job interview questions

Keep in mind that depending on the role you’re aiming for, you might be also asked to code (it’s called “live coding” or a “whiteboard interview”).

Check my article where I share a step-by-step guide to a job interview preparation

Thanks for reading & have a nice day,
Ela

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