8 Dos and Don’ts for Your Job Search
Your job search can leave you flustered when you realize all the things you have to think about: your resume, cover letter, interview strategy, e-mail etiquette, and which companies to apply to and how. And although we take great pride in fine-tuning all the complexities of this process, we also realize that before you do anything, it’s best to start with the basics.
So before you launch into your next job application, take a breath and consider these essentials, which can get forgotten or brushed aside in those early stages.
Resumes and Cover Letters
1) Proofread and Edit your Resumes and Cover Letters
Simply spending a few extra minutes to go over the little details on your resume and cover letter can save you from being disregarded in the first round of your interview process. According to an Adecco study, 43 percent of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate from consideration because of spelling errors. Do you really want your potential employer to pass you up because of a typo? Make sure they can’t say that resume wasn’t impeccable.
2) DON’T go overboard with design
When you’re one in dozens of applicants, you should look for any way for you resume and cover letters to stand out from the application pile. It’s always good to feature a clear font and elegant colors, but if you’re not applying to a creative position, don’t get in over your head trying to make the most eye-catching design. If creativity is not your forte, templates like these can be a sure way to go.
3) DON’T mass-apply
Instead of blindly sending out your resumé to dozens of companies, take the time to evaluate where you stand career-wise, and what companies or roles would benefit from your skills. Even if you’re really in need of a job right now, finding a good fit with an employer will give you long-term satisfaction beyond the paycheck. Focusing on jobs that actually interest you rather than batch-submitting your resumes and cover letters will also give you more time to invest in our next tip …
4) DO tailor your applications
The era of the one-for-all resumé is long gone. You’re more likely to connect with a recruiter if you tweak your resumé to each job you apply. Start with a basic template listing your experiences and edit or refocus your achievements in each role according to what they company is looking for, especially by adding keywords that appear in the job description. “Make sure you focus on the critical areas of the role and demonstrate how you would add value to the organization,” recommends Zachary Peikon, Principal of Korn Ferry.
5) DO Research the Company
Don’t think it’s all about you. When preparing for an interview, go to the company website, find out who works there, what they do, what the work culture is like, and learn about any important accomplishments the company has achieved recently. Mentioning those facts while you’re being interviewed and showing you have a genuine interest in your employer will demonstrate that you care about the job you’ll do, and the company’s success.
6) DON’T Dress Down
Every company and office have its own dress code, which differs based on the industry they’re in. Creative companies will be more laid-back while a law office will have a more formal attire culture. However, your first interview is your first impression. Your outfit should tell your future employer know you’re clean, professional, and dedicated. You don’t need the fanciest suit or dress, but make sure your clothes are free of wrinkles and well-fitting, and wear clean shoes.
Social Media Presence
7) DO clean up your social accounts
That means making sure you delete those college kegger photos on your Instagram and Facebook, and getting rid of any offensive posts with bad language. Memes and chain message graphics can be a sore eye when an employer is scrolling through your accounts, so if you can’t bear to let those galleries go, at least make your account private to avoid any awkwardness.
8) DON’T be invisible
Toning it down doesn’t mean keeping your social media empty. A good idea is to get professional social media accounts where you can share your interests while still maintaining an appropriate image.
Update your LinkedIn account with your latest jobs and accomplishments, and check to see if you already happen to have connections within the company! According to the Association of Talent Development, 57 percent of jobs today are filled through networking contacts. Nurture your network connections—it’ll keep you in people’s minds if they’re ever in need of the services you offer.