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10 Common Mistakes You May Have Made in Online Job Hunting

10 Common Mistakes You May Have Made in Online Job Hunting

While experts found that recent growth in the UK labor market may be about to stagnate, the national rate of unemployment fell to a respectable 7.2% last month. This is primarily considered to be the result of a wider economic recovery. It also reflects trends that are unfolding in developed nations throughout the world.

In addition to an improving climate, however, there are factors that have helped connect job seekers with the employment market. One of the most prominent is the rise of online and mobile recruitment techniques, which are becoming widely used and remain popular among more than 86% of job seekers.

Given the fact that online recruitment remains a relatively new practice, job seekers continue to make mistakes when searching and applying for roles. These can have a detrimental impact on your chances of finding work, consider the following before you begin to reach out towards e-recruitment websites:

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1. Recycling the Same Cover Letter for Every Application

The online realm is a deceptively compact space, where professionals interact on a daily basis. With this in mind, it is a strong possibility that online recruitment firms share information on potential candidates, which in turn can highlight inconsistencies in your resume or the use of a standardized cover letter across multiple applications. The latter can be detrimental to the pursuit of any job, as it suggests that you do little to distinguish between individual roles of employment prior to making contact.

2. Not Researching Individual Employers and Businesses

There is a certain transparency about job hunting online, as roles are advertised complete with a detailed description, directions, and information concerning annual remuneration. While this can help you make an informed decision when considering applications, it is important not to become complacent and neglect the importance of researching every potential employer. By delving beneath the surface of a job description and considering the philosophy of the firm in question, you can accurately determine whether or not it is the right option for you.

3. Letting Greed Dictate Your Job Choice

On a similar note, it is easy to lose sight of your motivation to work when viewing a high volume of potential opportunities. By becoming too regimented in your approach and listing jobs in terms of salary, for example, you are allowing yourself to be driven by greed rather than considering other important factors such as job security, long-term prospects, and the potential for progression. Before you turn away any application, take time to remember your priorities and consider whether the job in question will enable you to achieve your professional and personal goals.

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4. Failing to Apply Because You Don’t Consider Yourself a Good Match for the Role

Occasionally, you find an online opportunity appealing, only to be deterred from applying because you lack a specific qualification or relevant experience. This is a huge mistake, as you may have compensating factors that make you a viable candidate for the role. It is better to let professional recruiters do their job and make an informed decision, rather than limiting your opportunities because of perceived inadequacies.

5. Applying for Jobs Without Genuine Understanding of the Role

On the flip-side, it is important that you have some understanding of any potential job before you apply. If you lack any of the required qualifications or are unable to showcase relevant experience as demanded by the employer, you may need to exercise your better judgement and find a more suitable role. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting everyone’s time and potentially damaging your credibility as a candidate.

6. Showing Frustration Online

Whether you have been unemployed for a single day or an entire year, hunting for jobs online can be extremely frustrating. Recruitment firms are not always proactive when providing information about a specific application; while potential employers can take a great deal of time when making a final decision. You cannot afford to manifest your negative emotions through online communications. This will discourage recruiters from working with you and ultimately hinder your chances of impressing employers.

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7. Letting Pride Get in the Way of a Good Job

While the employment market has experienced genuine growth in recent times, there are industries that have been hit hard by previous recessions and due to the advent of technology. If you find yourself out of work due to a decline within your industry, be willing to start again and perhaps re-enter the employment market by accepting a low-paid, temporary position if necessary. If pride prevents you from taking such a step, you may find yourself out of work for a prolonged period of time.

8. Failing to Market Yourself or Skills

Thanks to professional networking tools, it is possible to use social media as a way of engaging potential employers and thought leaders within your chosen industry. These tools provide a platform from which you can market yourself and unique skills, whether academic accreditations or characteristics that help you to stand out from the crowd. If you are not proactive in showcasing and marketing these skills, you will lose out to more aggressive candidates who are willing to promote themselves.

9. Creating a Bland or Generic Resume

While there may only be a set number of formats that you can use when creating your resume, it is crucial that its content is concise, informative, and details the value that you can bring to a company. If you are unable to achieve this, you will be left with a bland and meaningless resume that fails to hold the attention of recruiters and employers. Avoid including mundane and irrelevant information, and refrain from extending your resume over four or five pages.

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10. Failing to Regulate Your Social Media

Although the principles of social media and professional networking can be used to showcase your credibility as a candidate, there are also pitfalls to using an online and real-time medium. This is especially true with resources such as Twitter, where the lines between professional and personal can become blurred over time. It is crucial that you regulate your output on social media, while also preventing friends from referencing you in relation to inappropriate content.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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