3 job search mistakes to avoid as you progress in your career

careerGaining insights into the job application process is always helpful and welcome, whether the applicant is a fresher, or holds relevant work experience at a junior or managerial level. 64% of all job applicants fail to find an opening matching their skillsets and level of experience. There are many reasons for aspirants looking for a job change or new role. Most frequent factors include personal reasons, lack of opportunities- salary, growth etc., misaligned work culture, management, or monotonous and un-motivating assignments. However, according to statistics from TopResume, more than 50% of entrants are eliminated from the online job search by applicant tracking system itself. Looking for a job is a challenging task and can cause slipups and result in frustration if not approached in a professional manner.

Three mistakes to avoid 

Data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) reveals that as of February, 2019 India, has about 31.2 million people actively looking for jobs. Out of hundreds of applications received each day, only about 5 profiles get picked for an interview call. In order to receive the best outcomes from a job search it is essential to learn the craft of navigating through potential pitfalls from the beginning and be watchful of crucial aspects including:

  • Targeting all job openings in your domain - Research from TalentWorks says that you increase your chances of getting an interview call when you apply for every job where you meet atleast 50% of the requirements and are within ballpark of desired level of work experience. Random application on jobs is a common mistake that can make you come across as unfocussed, and have your resume floating around in the market.
  • Lack of a strong, well worded resume – Candidates make the mistake of not accentuating skills outside their core technical skills. Including key skills like coding, data analysis, quality testing etc., as well as interpersonal and managerial skills like coordination and team building in the resume boosts the odds of invitation for an interview by 59%. Additionally, highlighting words pertaining to leadership skills and ability gives a competitive edge.
  • Failing to update the interview persona- Preparing well on your subject matter along with mastering your mannerisms and body language can have a positive impact on the conversion rate in an interview. According to CareerBuilder an unprofessional persona gets compounded with blunders or misrepresentation of facts in the resume. This may reduce the chance of job offer by as much as 67 %.

What candidates can do to avoid job search mistakesimage

  • Networking right - Social media sites like LinkedIn can be useful tools for job search as most companies post meagerly 1:80 jobs on open portals. Connecting online with Managers or Directors is advantageous to gain insights on hiring requisitions. This helps both parties to assess the fitment level best. While networking is best done when there is no pressing need, you can show eagerness to work with them and why you would be keen to take up a role in their company.
  • Backing resume with data - Quantifying your achievements in resume proves to be beneficial. Using numbers in points like team size managed, percentage of monetary success in a project or amount of efforts saved can be emphasized. There are 40% more chances of your resume being shortlisted if it represents data along with results.
  • Mock interviews - Rehearsing a few answers to answer predictable questions in interview is a smart idea. Practicing answers to questions like self-introduction, critical projects, challenges and overcoming strategies, situation-based questions, and more not only demonstrates professionalism but also eases out any risk of emotional spillage in an impromptu interaction. Hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals look for higher degree of emotional intelligence in a candidate. The Future of Jobs Report from The World Economic Forum ranked emotional intelligence in the top 10 job skills required for 2020.
  • Seeking feedback - According to LinkedIn’s Talent Trends report, 94% of candidates want to receive feedback after an interview. Seeking feedback helps the candidate showcase their inclination to join at the outset in addition to prepare for any further phases of interview. It also benefits the candidate with actionable recommendations and precise guidelines to improve on their shortcomings and build up on strengths.
  • Acknowledgements - As per Accountemps Survey of Human Resource Managers, only 24% of HR managers receive an acknowledgement post an interview. However, 80% of HR managers say that a thank-you note from a candidate helps in the review process as it aids in weighing the odds of the candidate’s willingness to join.
  • Following- up post interview - 37% of candidates are reported to be rejected as they do not prioritize sending a follow-up email post an interview. Interviewers tend remember only significant bits of conversations with potential employees – either your achievements or an engaging discussion in the current state of the industry or your contributions in your previous role. Sending a follow-up email with a hint of the discussion ensures a positive re-connect with the interviewer.