Avoid Long-Term Unemployment! Don’t Make These Job Search Mistakes

May 17th, 2013

You may think you know everything you need to know about job hunting and resume writing, but you making be making one or more of these 5 common job-hunting mistakes:

1. Skipping the Cover Letter

Yes, even in these days of online applications and tracking systems, you still need to write a cover letter. You may have heard “50 percent of cover letters never get read. ” Well, that means the remaining half do get read. Why take a chance by not including a cover letter? Plus, employers expecting to see a cover letter will delete any applicant who hasn’t bothered to write one.

2. Not Networking

In today’s competitive job market, you can’t afford not to network, and with social media making it so easy, you really have no excuse not to. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow you to display your resume, make industry connections and build a reputation on industry forums and message boards. Just don’t forget that online networking doesn’t eliminate the need for in-person networking. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. Join professional networks and attend local events likely to attract professionals in your industry.

3. Sending a Cookie-Cutter or Unfocused Resume

First, don’t use a standardized resume template, such as the ones Microsoft Word provides. Hiring managers have seen thousands of these and will recognize them immediately. Using a template resume says that you lacked the skill to write and format your own resume. Plus, they’re boring.

And make sure you tighten up your text. Don’t just list education, eomolyment history and skills without focusing on what makes you the best applicant. You only have a few seconds to make a great impression, so use bulleted lists for your skills and achievements rather than burying them in dense, hard-to-scan paragraphs. Tailor the resume to each specific job.

4. “Embellishing” Your Credentials

Yes, the current job market is competitive, and sometimes you need an edge to get noticed. It might be tempting to exaggerate a few areas of your resume—pad your academic achievements, exaggerate your job accomplishments or fudge the dates of your job history.

Don’t do it. Why? You’ll get caught. Employers can check facts online or pay for professional background checks. If they find out you fibbed, you’re not getting hired.

5. Applying for Anything

Avoid the temptation to apply for any job for which you have the slightest qualification. Some people think you should apply for anything, because doing so shows initiative and will get your name in front of the hiring manager. And hey, maybe he’ll have something else for you.

Your resume may indeed wind up on someone’s desk—and then it’ll go right into the garbage, along with your reputation. Only apply for jobs you’re capable of performing.

If you’re not making any of these mistakes, but you’re still not getting hired, contact the recruiting specialists at Synerfac. We’d be happy to assess your resume, your cover letter and your interview skills and see if we have the right job for you!

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