Career coaches on the biggest mistakes people make in the job search - Deepstash

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Starting with you

Starting with you

Focus on you first as the foundation. Your beliefs, attitude, and energy will determine your success. Spend time building up your confidence. 

  • Jot down your competencies, character traits, core strengths.
  • Craft a narrative about your future ambitions and repeat them daily.

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Thinking like a historian

Your resume is a marketing document, not an autobiography that details every past role and responsibility. Your objective it trying to prompt a purchase decision, which is to invite you in for an interview.

Delve into job boards and companies' careers pages. Pull a few postings, and find what theme or criteria keep coming up. For instance, if you continually find that they need someone who can solve complex problems and navigate ambiguity, and you can do that, then put it in your resume.

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Looking at the big picture

Looking at the big picture

Remember all of the skills you bring to the table. If you're applying for a project management role, consider highlighting the complementary skills you bring to the table. However, it should be a value add, not a random sidebar of your career.

Showing how your specific background allows you to bring a new perspective to your work will help you to stand out above other candidates.

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Overemphasizing what you want

Show a company what you can do for them. Don't put too much emphasis on what you want.

For instance, when asked "Why do you want to work here?", don't start with "I want to grow..." They really want to know how will you contribute to their business. Reframe your answer and use it to draw attention to the solutions you can provide. Furthermore, share how you've done it before.

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Relying on job postings

Online job boards are only a small percentage of the available market. Hiring managers are flooded with resumes from online job boards and might not look at every one.

Instead, spend more time networking with friends, second-degree connections, or keep an ear open for positions before they're posted. Hiring managers will naturally start with candidates who've already been vetted.

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Networking

Networking

It is too late to try and network when you need something. Networking is about mutually beneficial professional relationships developed over time.

Start by connecting with three different contacts a week. Then, when you want to find a job, you have many people to support you.

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Following up

Most hiring managers receive a large volume of applications. It is impossible for them to screen everyone.

It is a mistake if you have spent time acting on an opportunity with a great resume and cover letter, and then not following up. Follow up with every position.

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