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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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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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