Applying for jobs is easy — browse postings, complete some online forms, attach a resumé and voila! Your name is in the system. However, simply adding your name and experience to a company’s recruiting system isn’t going to do much to help you find your next career opportunity. Finding a new job requires time, research and thoughtful communication, and according to a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 3,200 employees, plenty of people failing to embrace those three key components. Here’s a look at the five most common mistakes of job seekers.
1) Sending the same resumé to everyone.
If you’re getting serious about the job search, you’re probably filling out multiple applications and sending your credentials to a wide range of prospective employers. However, all job opportunities are not created equal, which means there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resumé. CareerBuilder’s research reveals that 54 percent of job seekers don’t customize their resumé for each employer. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes: if someone is too lazy to take an additional 30 minutes to tailor his or her list of experiences when applying for the position, how careless will the candidate be when handling actual job responsibilities? Before you submit an application, invest extra time to ensure that the resumé responds to each specific need in the job listing.
2) Skipping the personal touch.
Here’s an alarmingly lazy statistic: 84 percent of job seekers don’t bother to address the hiring manager by name. Rather than sending a blanket “Dear Hiring Manager, I’ve attached my resumé” note, do an extra five minutes of online research to determine the specific person you’re hoping to impress. When sifting through a pile of generic messages, a personalized note can make a huge difference.
3) Leaving out the cover letter.
Hiring managers are too busy to read cover letters, right? Wrong. A cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your writing skills and create a more well-rounded picture of yourself than a bullet-point list of accomplishments in a resumé. However, 45 percent of applicants don’t bother to include cover letters. As you fine-tune your resumé for each opportunity, be sure to dedicate additional energy into crafting a personal note that outlines your abilities, your work style and the qualifications that distinguish you as an ideal person for an interview.
4) Failing to follow up.
Hiring managers receive mountains of applications and emails, which means that even the most qualified candidate’s credentials can get lost. However, 37 percent of job seekers don’t follow up once they’ve applied. If you haven’t heard any news on the status of your application, don’t just wait. Send a polite and concise note to see if you can pass along any more helpful information for consideration.
5) Forgetting to follow your mother’s number one rule.
This is the most shocking statistic from CareerBuilder’s research: 57 percent of job seekers don’t send thank-you notes after an interview. Whether you prefer to send a quick note via email or you want to take the old-school, handwritten approach, this note of appreciation is an absolute must. If you don’t thank someone for their time during an interview, how can they expect you to impress clients if they actually offer you the position?
Writing thank-you notes and customizing resumés aren’t the only crucial steps in the job search. Click here to learn why maintaining a strong social media presence is becoming equally important to landing a new position.