Job hunting is frightening for sure. Terrifying interviews, scary typos in your cover letter or resume, and the ever-constant fear you'll never be hired.
But don't worry. Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing and recruiting firm has 10 tips to help you avoid scary job-hunting errors.
1. Skeletal resumes. Sending a resume and cover letter that's bare-bones and generic is the fastest way to land in a hiring manager's "no" pile. In order to make the strongest argument as to why you're the right fit for the particular role, you should customize your resume for every job you're applying to. If you're sending generic materials, hiring managers can take that as a reflection of how you'll be on the job -- lazy.
2. Staying in the dark. Regardless of your time spent in the workforce, you should be reaching out to industry professionals or employees of the companies you're applying to. The purpose isn't to ask for a job but to gain insider knowledge on how to succeed in both the company and industry you're targeting.
3. Not sharing the thrill. When looking for a job, candidates should tell everyone they know, friends, family, friends' parents, previous teachers, etc. Even if their companies aren't hiring, these people may know someone who can help. It's important that job seekers don't overlook the obvious.
4. Not getting into character. It's scary how many people come in to interview for a position but didn't research how that department operates or what it produces. A great example is someone interviewing for a marketing role who has no sense of the company's marketing campaigns or awards it has won. You should research the role and be ready as if you're starting that day. You should picture yourself as already being a part of the team.
5. Being wicked. People vent during an interview, sometimes so subtly, they don't even realize they're doing it. It could come out along the lines of, "I could have excelled if my manager gave me more opportunity." You should never bash previous employers or articulate any hint of frustrations on a resume or during an interview. It shows poor judgment and poor attitude.
6. Not looking to the past. You should ask yourself what your previous co-workers are doing now. You should be reaching out to your college guidance counselors or professors. Anyone, from any stage of your career, can help you build or expand a network.
7. Not considering short-term roles. Temporary or temporary-to-permanent roles are a great way for candidates to get a foot in the door of a company. If you feel it's the right fit, then you can dedicate the hours needed to excel in the role and potentially be brought on full-time. On the other hand, such a role can allow you to determine if job isn't a good fit without serious repercussions. Another great perk is that professionals can test-drive a new industry if they're looking to make a career change.
8. Spooked by change. Candidates pass up great opportunities because they have blinders on during the job hunt regarding a specific job type, title, pay, etc. One of the biggest blinders, however, is education. Someone with a history major can be a great salesperson. Don't let your degree limit you.
9. Hiding behind an online cape. This seems basic, but so many people think they're invisible online. Whether it's an overly aggressive comment or an inappropriate picture, if you have even the slightest hesitation about posting something, don't do it or make it private.
10. Being a trick, not a treat. Candidates shouldn't send resumes to every contact at the company, when the instructions say to contact a specific person. While some may think being aggressive is good, it can come off as desperate and be an annoyance.