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If you’ve been job hunting for a while with limited success, take a look at our most common job hunting mistakes and learn how to avoid them.

Using Uninspiring CVs and Cover Letters

There are two important mistakes that always crop up in CVs and cover letters: typos and a lack of focus.

Firstly, typos! We all make them and when you’ve spent hours perfecting your CV they can be easy to miss. Your brain knows what you intended to write and will often miss the most obvious errors. Getting a friend to proof read your CV and cover letter will spare your blushes. There are plenty of tools online which can also help but it still helps to have a second pair of eyes.

Secondly, a lack of focus on your CV will always hold you back. A generic CV might seem like a good idea; it means less work for you and you can apply for a wide range of jobs using the same document but think about it: if you’re applying for a position as an engineer, does your future employer really need to know that you worked as a waitress one summer 10 years ago? You must tailor your CV to suit the role you are applying for.

  • Make sure it’s clear from your CV that you have the necessary skills and attributes required in the individual job specification.
  • Highlight areas that the employer would find of interest.
  • Remember they hiring managers will undoubtedly receive a number of applications for each role and may only scan your CV for a few seconds. You need to make sure the skills they’re looking for jump out.

If you’re currently struggling to write your CV take a look at our advice on how to get your CV noticed; we also have advice regarding how to write a cover letter which will complement your CV.

Being unprofessional online

Make sure the image you’re projecting on social media tallies with the image you want to project in a face to face interview. Many prospective employers will look at an individual’s social media profile before shortlisting candidates for interview, so it’s important that you get past this first screening process. Think about your personal brand and make use of privacy settings if you need to, to ensure any publically available information shows you in the best possible light.

If you’re unsure about how to best project your image online, read our advice on how to maintain a professional image on the web.

Being unorganised and unfocused

When job hunting it’s good to explore all avenues, but this doesn’t mean issuing your CV far and wide in the hope that something sticks. 

  • Develop a daily plan and focus on the jobs that best suit your skill set.
  • Create a document to track when and who you sent applications to, so you remember to follow up all opportunities. 

Not preparing for interviews

Interviews are an integral part of the recruitment process and preparation is key. Your interview is your chance to shine, a chance for your future employer to meet you and get to know if you’re the right fit for their role.

Researching the company and preparing answers to common interview questions will put you a step ahead but you should also make sure you plan the logistics in advance. Turning up to an interview late is not a good look and poor timekeeping will put many employers off, creating the impression that you lack punctuality.

Have you got an interview approaching and need help preparing? We’ve put together 5 key interview tips to help you make a good impression on the hiring manager.

Being shy!

As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know! By not taking advantage of your existing network you could be missing out on multiple opportunities. Speaking to friends, family and ex colleagues who work in a similar industry can unearth opportunities you may have previously missed. These people can also serve as great references to potential employers. If a future employer sees that you have a mutual acquaintance it is likely they will ask about you. This can make a big difference in your chances of securing a role.

Regardless of your existing network, job hunting is the perfect time to expand your connections:

  • Attend local meetings
  • Become active in professional organisations and community groups
  • Speak with associates and ask people who and what they know
  • Sign up to appropriate mailing lists, newsgroups, and chat forums.

With over 40 years recruitment experience in a range of technical industries, we know a thing or 2 about expanding your professional network.

Doing it alone

Remember you don’t need to do everything yourself and suddenly become a recruitment expert. Engage with a recruitment agency that specialises in your field and call your consultant regularly to keep your name at the forefront of their mind for any opportunities. With long established links in your industry, a recruitment consultant naturally has greater access to job openings and will identify the right role for your needs. In addition, they can also provide support and advice on targeting your CV, how to prepare for an interview, tips on negotiating salaries and making the most of your soft skills. 

Job Hunting Expertise from NES Global Talent

Our global reach and diverse sector base means that we’re perfectly equipped to secure you your next role. We’ve offered recruitment expertise to a range of candidates and employers for over 40 years with discipline-specific consultants that truly know their markets – Register your CV with us and apply for your next role today.

The spread of COVID-19 is affecting all of us. But as a global staffing company, NES would like to reassure our customers that we are fully operational across all our locations and are working closely with clients to ensure essential projects stay on track at this difficult time. For regular updates, please see our COVID-19 Support Hub.