Preparing yourself for starting your job search after graduation? Well, there are some common job search mistakes you can avoid simply by doing a little research and networking with other graduates. Then, you can learn about some of these blunders ahead of time, improving your chances of landing a good job.
10 Blunders Made During Job Searches After Graduation
Watch out for these top ten job search mistakes in order to help you get better results from your hunting efforts:
1. Appearing Unprofessional Online
Trying to find a job? Then you’ll need to sanitize your Facebook and MySpace profiles and posts… immediately. Monster.com advises going through your social media photos and getting rid of the “3 B’s”, which are all images related to “beer, bongs and bikinis.” Recruiters and potential employers will check, as well as many potential freelance clients.
2. Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Most graduates don’t land the job of their dreams fresh off the stage. One of the most common job search mistakes with new graduates is not focusing on the big picture. For your first industry-related job, concentrate on working where you’ll have the greatest learning opportunities. This will help you build a solid career over time.
3. Not Customizing Each Resume & Cover Letter
Your most effective resume will highlight the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to meet the requirements for a specific job. The same goes for your cover letter. Since each job has different requirements, each individual application, cover letter, and resume submitted should be personalized for that specific position. Also, your cover letter needs to speak directly to the company and/or the hiring manager in the job posting.
4. Creating a Long, Drawn Out, 5-Page Resume
Hiring managers and recruiters are very busy professionals. They don’t have time for lengthy resumes that list every accomplishment you’ve made for the last five years. Instead, highlight your resume with information that shows just what makes you compelling. Make sure they’re able to extract this info as quickly as possible.
5. Not Clarifying Why You Actually Want the Job
There are many details recruiters have to go through when narrowing down candidates. One of the simplest questions many candidates fail to address that hiring managers want answers to is: “Why do you want this job position?” One of the most common job search mistakes people make is not answering this question in your cover letter, application, or resume.
6. Only Hunting Through Job Search Sites
Having a hard time with your online job hunt? Well, just imagine your competition. There are thousands of people searching through and applying for the same jobs you are on the World Wide Web. Those same people are posting their resumes on the same sites as you are as well. One of the best ways to stand out as a job candidate is by networking and making connections, both online and offline. This can lead you to industry experts, tips, resources, even job openings and offers.
7. Not Following Up
So you’ve sent out your resumes with cover letters. Now what? This is where many job seekers make one of the most common job search mistakes… not following up. Don’t spam recruiters, but it is acceptable to send a short follow-up email to let them know you’re still interested. This may also help you stand out as a candidate.
8. Not Being Serious About the Job Interview
It’s important to represent yourself as a professional individual during job interviews, even if they’re for unpaid internships. Many job search experts even recommend dressing up in professional attire for phone and online interviews, because it helps to keep your attitude professional as well. You also want to be prepared before going into the interview (See Job Search Mistakes #9 and #10 for details).
9. Not Researching the Company
When you go on a job interview, be prepared to show the person conducting the interview that you care about the position. Get to know the company’s brand, solutions, values, vision, mission, and recent stories in the news. This is not only impressive, but it will also give you the ability to really express how you and your skills will fit into the company’s culture.
10. Not Utilizing Your School’s Career Development Department
F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Career Development Department is exclusively for students and alumni. There, you can learn to improve your job search skills, cover letter and resume, and find other resources to help you find digital media jobs after graduation. You’ll also get access to mock interviews and networking events. Click here to join the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Alumni Association!