The 7 most common mistakes you make when job hunting

Looking for a job but haven’t gotten even one interview? Have a flawless work record but nobody is looking at your CV? It’s possible that your online job hunt is going badly because you’ve made one of the common mistakes below. Don’t fret! They all can be fixed.

1. You’re still looking for work on Monster and job sites

Monster and other types of online job boards may help you find the type of skills asked today from companies in the sector that interests you or keywords to use in your CV to stand out (below I’ll give you more details). But that’s as far as they go: right now they’re not the best places to look for jobs.

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These days if you want to get a job online, all the action is either on LinkedIn, or any social network with most of your contacts. I know sometimes it’s hard to contact people and say you’re looking for a job and if they know a place looking for somebody like you, but you’ve got no choice. Send emails, rekindle old friendships and even, if necessary, use that strange function known as “call” on your cell phone.

2. You haven’t kept your job hunt a secret

Except for rare exceptions, you should keep your job hunt a secret. I already know of three cases of friends who announced with fanfare on their Facebook wall that they’re fed up with their jobs and it’s time to look for new one. The result? Since some of their contacts were coworkers (including sometimes their direct superior), there were repercussions. Also, if somebody wants to hire you, looks at your Facebook and finds out that you rant and rave about your job, you’ll lose serious points.

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For LinkedIn, you should immediately disable the option “Share Profile Updates” under the privacy settings of your account. Let me explain: each time you change your position on your profile (including the position you want for your next job), your contacts will receive the typical “Congratulate so-and-so on his/her new job!” email. I doubt that your boss would like to congratulate you on your next job.

3. You’ve sent out boring and standard CVs

Before sending your CV for a job opening, carefully scan the offer and put keywords repeated in the offer in your CV and any you find significant. This way, you’ll increase your chances: the company will think you’re the ideal person for the position because you’ve used the same language.

Besides that, you have dozens of online resources to improve your CV. In five minutes of searching, for example, I’ve found this article with 27 free templates for creating your CV. And if you don’t feel like reading, Youtube is full of fantastic tutorials with tips about how to make a great CV. Here you’ve got two great examples.

4. You haven’t researched the company enough

During the selection process, a company only uses nice words to describe themselves. Alright, but does this company interested in hiring you actually maintain those exceptional values? How do they treat their employees? Before you take any key decisions, research!

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Besides checking out their corporate webpage or Facebook, you have Glassdoor, a page that lets you search reviews of companies from their employees (current or past). Maybe you’ll save yourself from falling into a hidden trap!

The other option is more journalistic/detective-based. If your company is well-known, you can always research articles related to them and even video reports.

The goal, whatever path you take, is to understand the company’s actual situation and if it’s really aligned with what you’ve planned for your next job.

5. You go to the job interview without any prep

Let’s not get away from Youtube tutorials yet! Before going to your next batch of interviews, it’s important to improve your nonverbal language (both yours and how to “read” the interviewer’s body). On Youtube, you’ll find tons of videos for this (since body language is a visual element, videos are perfect). Here you’ve got a few examples.

Have you already become a master of relaxed body language? Great, because now it’s time to prepare for questions. The interviewer will ask you about the company (you’ll know how to respond if you followed my steps about researching them) and toss you questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or the previously mentioned “What can you contribute to our company?”

Again, the internet is teeming with resources, specifically great articles such as How to Answer the 31 Most Common Interview Questions100 top job interview questions—be prepared for the interview or Top 10 Interview Questions and Best Answers.

Research and study a little and you’ll see how smoothly your next job interviews go.

6. You didn’t clean up your social media profiles

Companies are increasingly looking at social media profiles of potential candidates. Proof of this is that companies can now post job offers directly from Facebook.

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Watch what you post on social media and adjust your privacy settings. An unfortunate photo, a comment written at a bad time or you venting about your previous job can destroy all your previous efforts to get a certain position.

7. And worst of all: you aren’t taking 100% advantage of online resources

Throughout this article I’ve mentioned some online tools for looking for jobs. We’ve got obvious tools such as LinkedIn or others that you might not have thought of, such as Youtube video tutorials. But that’s not the end of it.

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How about asking your Twitter contacts? Or doing a little networking on pages like Meetup? Or improving your skills through online courses like Coursera, for example? And then there’s pages like emurse.com, which offers articles to help you find jobs.

You have thousands of online resources awaiting you. And each one has more uses than you think. Go on, use them!

Sources used for the making of this article: Lifehacker, Equipos y Talento + all sources that have appeared throughout the article.

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