Sometimes, finding the right position at a new company can feel like a job itself. If you’ve been sending out job applications every day, going to the occasional interview, and letting everyone in your LinkedIn network know that you’re open to new opportunities, you might be wondering if there’s anything else you can do to speed up your job search.
1. Sending the Same Résumé for Every Position
It’s important to tailor your résumé to the role you’re applying for. Yes, it’s a bit more time consuming, but the extra effort is worth it. Just as you shouldn’t send the exact same cover letter for two different positions, you should avoid sending the same version of your résumé. Treat your basic resume as a template that you can edit and adjust for different positions. Instead of simply listing your previous positions and general responsibilities, emphasize the specific skills and qualifications that make you the perfect candidate for the job. Remember, you’ll want to stick to one page, so make every line count.
2. Failing to Prepare for the Interview
Sometimes, a job seeker might assume that just making it to the interview stage means they’ve almost got the job, but with so many qualified candidates out there, it’s never a safe bet. Sure, the hiring manager might get a laugh out of your off-the-cuff jokes, but showing up to an interview without solid preparation could hold you back from landing your dream job — even if you’re a great fit for the role. An interview is typically your first chance to make a great impression and show the company who you are beyond your résumé and cover letter, so it pays to spend some time researching possible questions in advance.
3. Forgetting to Follow Up
Staying on top of regular communication throughout the hiring process can only boost your chances of getting the job. Promptly confirming dates and times for interviews, responding to emails in a timely fashion, and following up with a quick thank you note after an interview can help you stand out. USA Today reports that between 20 to 50 percent of interview candidates and new hires simply don’t show up to the office. If you do get an offer and choose not to accept it, don’t just leave the company hanging — thank them for their time and let them know that it’s not the right fit for you. Employers talk, and you don’t want to burn bridges in your industry.
Jane Harkness is a freelance writer who provides blogging, copywriting, and proofreading services to startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. She works with clients in a variety of industries, including food and travel, and she also contributes political essays to several digital publications.