5 Mistakes Standing Between You & Your Dream Job
Updated: Sep 21
A new year is here! If you’ve mapped out your 2020 goals, they might include leveling up in your career and applying for that dream job. With that being said, we’ve laid out five mistakes that everyone (us included) has made when searching, applying, and interviewing for a new job. Not only are we here to fill you in on the mistakes that you might not realize you're making, but also to help you land that dream job.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Cover Letter
You've probably heard the saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression." Well, that still holds true today! We all judge someone within seconds so when applying for a job, every little detail matters. The layout of your resume, your application, and the way you enter a room can all determine someone’s opinion of you. A pro-tip that most people don’t remember is the magic of providing a cover letter. A cover letter is equivalent to a pretty bow on a wrapped gift. It adds an extra element to your resume that can truly impress a hiring manager. A great cover letter is short, concise, and straight to the point. It states who you are, what your values are, and what you bring to the table. It's as simple as that! When a recruiter takes a look at your resume, they get a general idea of your history, but a cover letter provides insight into who you are and what value you could add to the company. Don’t underestimate the power of a well written cover letter!
Mistake #2: Not Showing Up to Other Interviews
We get it. You have your mind set on the job. However, interviewing with other companies can be beneficial in a variety of ways. For starters, you get extra practice time. An increased number of interviews will give you exposure to a variety of questions and you'll be more prepared to answer them moving forward. You can shake off any interviewing nerves for any upcoming interviews. If other companies have extended you an offer, you could use this to your advantage. Knowing what other employers are willing to offer, can help you negotiate salary and benefits if you land that dream job. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind and interview with other companies.
Mistake #3: Lack of Questions & Research
When interviewing, do yourself a favor and research the company you are interviewing with. The hiring manager will most likely ask you if you know anything about the company and coming up with nothing makes you look unprepared and unprofessional. Another aspect that makes you look unprepared is not having questions for them. While it’s good to stay away from money questions, asking about the culture, their values, and their vision for the company can add brownie points. Lack of research and questions makes you appear like you have no interest in the position and that could lead them to hire someone else.
Mistake #4: Following Up
Following up can add a lasting impression to your interview process. It sends the message that you are highly interested in the position and excited to be a part of the team. However, this can work against you if you follow up too much. If you're constantly sending an email asking about their decision, you might give off the impression that you are too eager. A hiring manager is busy and to be spammed with an excessive amount of follow-up emails is not what they want to see. Send one email and move on. The right job will contact you back and extend an offer.
Mistake #5: Not Finishing Professionally
You’ve come this far, received several job offers, and now is the time to decide which one you would like to accept. Once you make a choice, take the time to write out rejection emails to other companies. You might be wondering "why would I do that?". Why would you take the time to write these emails when you will never see them again? Reason one: you never know who you might need as a contact in your career. It’s never good to burn bridges when they might be needed in the future. Properly declining an offer looks more professional on your end and can help you in the long run. Lastly, these companies are a business and their time shouldn't be wasted. If they should be in the market for new employees, they need to know as soon as possible rather than waiting to hear back from you. Do them a favor and let them know in a timely matter so they can continue their search.
The most important thing to remember on your job search is to be your authentic self. By being true to yourself, you're guaranteed ending up at a place that will love and value you. Don’t try to fit yourself in a position that isn’t right for you and doesn’t align with your values. Be patient in your search, it will all fall into place!