Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What are some common mistakes people make when job hunting? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
1. Not having enough leads going at the same time.
I went to the career office to get assistance when I was looking for a job and the advisor suggested I actively follow up on 40 leads/positions. I was so shocked – that seemed like a lot. Granted it was during the abysmal 2009 economy, but you need to have a lot of irons in the fire.
2. Not doing enough research on the company.
Read recent articles and press releases, know about recent product launches, or shifts in top leadership, understand what major moves their competitors have made, know if they have done any recent acquisitions. And think about how those things could affect the department and role that you are interviewing for.
3. Not doing a Google/LinkedIn search on the people you are interviewing with.
It shows true interest and is probably expected. It may give you something in common to talk about – like maybe you both worked at the same company before, or have colleagues in common. Can help you make a strong connection.
4. Not reaching out to your network – and following up.
It is the most important thing that you get a job, but it might not be the most important thing to your well-intentioned friend. Make sure you follow up if they said they’d help you or connect you with someone because it could easily slip their mind.
5. Not following up promptly with a thank you.
I have interviewed many people in my life and I am always baffled by people who don’t take the 30 seconds it takes to send a thank you email.
6. Relying on only one way to get jobs.
I’ve gotten offers for great jobs through LinkedIn, old bosses, careerbuilder even a GREAT one through CraigsList! (yes I was shocked too) You just never know which of your contacts will be the one that comes through.
7. Finally, instead of talking about what you definitely don’t want, talk about what you are looking for.
The type of role, the type of company, the industry, talk about it with everybody. One of my friends started to do this, and randomly got a phone call from a friend of a friend who remembered he was interested in “insert dream job here” and passed him on to the contact that helped him get it.