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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 April 8, 2020

9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

Congratulations, you’re starting a new job! You’re feeling relieved that the interviews and the wait for a decision from the hiring manager is over, and you’ve finally signed the offer.

Feelings of fear and anticipation may surface now as you think about starting work on Monday. Or you may feel really confident if you have plenty of work experience.

Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones. It’s very common for seasoned professionals to overestimate themselves due to the breadth of their experience.

Companies offer different depths of on-boarding experiences.[1] Ultimately, success in your career depends on you.

Below are 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career.

1. Your Work Starts Before Your First Day

When you prepared for your interview, you likely did some research about the company. Now it’s time to go more in depth.

  • How would your manager like you to prepare for your first day? What are his/her expectations?
  • What other information can your manager provide so that you can start learning more about the role or company?
  • What company policies or reports can you review that can get you acclimatized to your new job and work environment?

You’ll need to embrace a lot of new people and information when you start your new job. What you learn before your first day at work can help you feel more grounded and prepare your mind to process new information.

2. Know Your Role and the Organization

Review the job posting and know your responsibilities. Sometimes, job postings are simplified versions of the job description. Ask your manager or human resources if there is a detailed job description of your role.

Once you understand your key responsibilities and accountabilities, ask yourself:

  • What questions do you have about the role?
  • What information do you need to do your job effectively?
  • Who do you need to meet and start building relationships with?

Continue to increase your knowledge and do your research through the company Intranet site, organizational charts, the media, LinkedIn profiles, the industry and who your company competitors are.

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This is not a one time event. Continue to do this throughout your time with the company. Every team or project you engage with will evolve and change.

Keep current and be ready to adapt by using your observational skills to be aware of changes to your work environment and people’s behaviour.

3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work

Understanding your work culture is key to help you succeed in your career.

Many of these unwritten rules will not be listed on company policies. This means you’ll need to use all of your senses to observe the environment and the people within it.

What should you wear? See what your peers and leaders are wearing. Notice everything from their jewelry down to their shoes. Once you have a good idea of the dress code you can then infuse your own style.

What are your hours of work? What do you notice about start, break and end times? Are your observations different from what you learned at the interview? What questions do you have based on your observations? Asking for clarity will help you make informed decisions and thrive in a new work setting.

What are the main communication channels?[2] What communication mediums do people use (phone, email, in-person, video)? Does the medium change in different work situations? What is your manager’s communication style and preference? These observations will help you better navigate your work environment and thrive in the workplace.

4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions

You got the job, you’re feeling confident and are eager to show how you can contribute. Check the type of language you are using when you’re approaching your work and sharing your experiences.

I’ve heard many new employees say:

  • “I used to do this at ‘X’ company …”
  • “When I worked at “X” company we implemented this really effective process …”
  • “We did this at my other company … how come you guys are not …”
  • “Why are you doing that … we used to do this …”

People usually don’t want to hear about your past company. The experiences that you had in the past are different in this new environment.

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Remember to:

  • Notice your assumptions
  • Focus on your own work
  • Ask questions, and
  • Learn more about the situation before offering suggestions.

You can then better position yourself as a trusted resource that makes informed decisions tailored to business needs.

5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification

Contrary to common belief, asking questions when you’re starting a new job is not a vulnerability.

Asking relevant questions related to your job and the company:

  • Helps you clarify expectations
  • Shows that you’ve done your research
  • Demonstrates your initiative to learn

Seeking to clarify and understand your environment and the people within it will help you become more effective at your job.

6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand

Starting a new job is the perfect time to set clear expectations with your manager and colleagues. Your actions and behaviors at work tells others about your work style and how you like to operate. So it’s essential to get clear on what feels natural to you at work and ensure that your own values are aligned with your work actions.

Here are a few questions to reflect on so that you can clearly articulate your intentions and follow through with consistent actions:

Where do you need to set expectations? Reflect on lessons learned from your previous work experiences. What types of expectations do you need to set so that you can succeed?

Why are you setting these expectations? You’ll likely need to provide context and justify why you’re setting these boundaries. Are your expectations reasonable? What are the impacts on the business?

What are your values? If you value work life balance, but you’re answering emails on weekends and during your vacation time, people will continue to expect this from you. What boundaries do you need to set for yourself at work?

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What do you want to be known for? This question requires some deep reflection. Do you want to be known as a leader who develops and empowers others? Maybe you want to be known for someone who creates an environment of respect where everyone can openly share ideas. Or maybe you want to be someone who challenges people to get outside their comfort zones?

7. Manage Up, Down, and Across

Understanding the work styles of those around you is key to a successful career. Particularly how you communicate and interact with your immediate manager.

Here are a few key questions to consider:

  • How can you make your manager’s job easier?
  • What can you do to anticipate her/his needs?
  • How can you keep them informed (and prepared) so they don’t get caught off-guard?
  • What are your strengths? How can you communicate these to him/her so that they fully understand your capabilities?

These questions can also apply if you manage a team or if you deal with multiple stakeholders.

8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company

It’s important to keep learning from diverse groups and individuals within the company. You’ll get different perspectives about the organization and others may be able to help you succeed in your role.

What types of relationships do you need to build? Why are you building this relationship?

Here are some examples of workplace relationships:

  • Immediate Manager. He/she controls your work assignments. The work can shape the success of your career.
  • Mentors. These are people who are knowledgeable about their field and the company. They are willing to share their experiences with you to help you navigate the workplace and even your career.
  • Direct Reports. Your staff can influence how successful you are at meeting your goals.
  • Mentees. They are another resource to help you keep informed about the organization and your opportunity to develop others.

Other workplace relationships include team members, stakeholders, or strategic partners/sponsors that will advocate for your work.

Learn more in this article: 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama

You are part of an ecosystem that has gotten you to where you are today. Every single person and each moment that you have encountered with someone has shaped who you are – both positive and negative.

Here’s How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

Make sure you continue to nurture the relationships that you value and show gratitude to those who have helped you achieve your goals.

Summing It Up

There are many aspects of your career that you are in control of. Observe, listen, and make informed decisions. Career success depends on your actions.

Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones.

Here are the 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career:

  1. Your Work Starts Before Your 1st Day
  2. Know Your Role and the Organization
  3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work
  4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
  5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification
  6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand
  7. Manage Up, Down, and Across
  8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company
  9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

Celebrate, enjoy your new role, and take good care of yourself!

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Featured photo credit: Frank Romero via unsplash.com

Reference

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