Common Job Search Mistakes in The Digital Age

job-seeking-mistakes

Getting a job in the digital age is different than it was before the advent of the Internet. Avoid these common mistakes to get a job in the digital era.

Today it’s easier than ever to apply for a job with the increase of online job Web sites like CareerBuilder and Monster along with several other job search niche sites; however, it is much harder for a resume to be noticed. Even though in the digital age it’s easier to apply for more jobs, people make common job search mistakes that prevent them from getting a job.

Ten to fifteen years ago people printed copies of their resumes on quality stationery and mailed them out to employers along with a cover letter after seeing a job advertised in their local newspaper. Now job seekers go to their computer and apply for jobs all around the world with a touch of a button. “Unfortunately,” says Korkki, “so can everyone else.”

“The Internet has had a remarkable impact not only on the volume of resumes being sent but on the entire job search process,” And the increase in the number of resumes makes hiring managers “very pressed for time. The harsh reality is that the No. 1 goal of most recruiters is to eliminate and exclude as many people as possible,” said Wendy S. Enelow, executive director of Career Masters Institute, an association of resume writers and career coaches based in Peterborough, N.H. in Korkki’s interview.

Scanning Technology and Keyword Rich Resumes for Job Searches

To get a job, people need to make sure their resumes are keyword-rich to make it past scanning technology to the hiring manager’s desk. “The average Fortune 500 company,” according to Mark Mehler, co-founder of CareerXroads in Korkki’s interview, “receives about 2000 resumes a day…Now the job seeker has maybe five seconds of the recruiter’s eye to make their case to be hired.” So, job seekers need to make sure they use keyword-rich resumes in order to make it through automated and scanning technology. Otherwise, their resume won’t even be given five seconds to be seen by recruiters. Surprisingly, not many people do this simple but important step when they are looking for a job.

Resumes need to contain many of the same keywords that are listed in the job ad, and they need to contain keywords that are common to a specific line of work. Job seekers should also notice how their resume reads on the screen. They need to make judicious use of white space and bold-face type for emphasis and readability. People should avoid underlining and using italics as these make resumes less readable.

“The biggest change in resumes over the last decade has been a switch from an objective to a summary at the top,” Enelow said in Korkki’s article. “The summary emphasizes the skills that the applicant can offer the company, rather than stressing what the applicant is seeking. A pithy, well-considered, ‘key-word-rich’ summary can be crucial.”

Following up After Sending Resumes

Another job search mistake people make to get a job is not following up after sending a resume. According to Amy Olmscheid manager of the Career Center at Capella University in Rachel Farell’s January 21, 2011, CareerBuilder article “20 Avoidable Job Search Mistakes,” following up is a critical step to set job seekers apart from other applicants. Most people “often neglect this key step because, for example, they applied online and don’t have a name to follow up with.”

If job seekers don’t have someone’s name to follow up with, says Olmscheid, they need to do the research and find the hiring manager’s name. People applying for jobs should use the Internet or a network to contact the person in human resources or a manager in the department who is in charge of hiring. Then job seekers need to call or email that person about the position.

Social Media Strategy and Job Search Mistakes

Job seekers who don’t have LinkedIn profiles are missing out on a critical opportunity to showcase their skills and experience, says Mario Schulzke, founder of CareerSparx.com in Farell’s article. “Many employers and HR professionals use LinkedIn as their go-to resource for more information about a candidate.” One of the best ways to get a job is to make sure your LinkedIn profile shines.

To get a job, people need to be careful of their social profiles and inappropriate pictures they have posted on the Web. More and more employers research social networking sites of employees or prospective employees. Before applying for any type of employment, job seekers should make sure there isn’t anything on the Web that will affect their chances of getting hired.

Not being mindful of social media reputations is a major job search mistake. Employers checking job seekers’ social networking sites for the recruiter is more common than most job seekers realize. Job seekers should use social media to their advantage and have a social media strategy that underscores their ability to be an outstanding employee.

Don’t Forget the Basics

The best way to get a job is to be diligent about finding work in an electronic age. Job seekers should take advantage of digital media when looking for employment but they must not forget the networking. You can land a dream job with networking rather than applying on random vacancies online.

Though we live in the age of the internet we must not forget about basics such as personal grooming, skill development and mastering the interview questions.

By taking certain steps to ensure your resume is readable and keyword-rich and that your online reputation is credible, you’ll stand out among many of the other thousands of job applicants. Once you get the interview opportunity, you should be able to tackle the tricky interview questions and get the job.

Written by
Umar Saeed
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