Typical Job Seeker Mistakes

by | 25.03.21

Beyond the enormous human toll coronavirus has had over the last year the pandemic has also had a significant impact on people’s careers. Being put on furlough, rescinded job offers, and redundancies have created a tremendous amount of unsettlement across most businesses. Many people are finding themselves having to apply for new jobs during one of the most challenging times in modern history. As a result of the pandemic, it has become an employer’s market. People looking for work have to be more determined, more focused, and more creative in order to stand out in the crowd.

Even though landing a new role at the moment is challenging, companies are still recruiting. Certain industries have been hit very hard but there are other industries like e-commerce, cybersecurity, logistics, food wholesalers and anything to do with the medical sector which are really growing. Here are some tips which may help you:

Get with it

The coronavirus has radically changed the world. With social distancing employers are no longer doing in-person interviews. Job seekers who expect to simply send their CV or make a phone call to get an interview are in for a rude awakening. Your CV needs to be excellent, it should clearly explain your experience, your skills and your education. The CV should also give the employer a little peek of you. The way to do this is to definitely list any hobbies and interests you have along with any charity work you do. You also have the opportunity to write a short personal profile, which again should hopefully give the employer a little insight into what you are all about. No go’s on CVs though are children, religion, photos, more then ten years of work experience, age, irrelevant qualifications and fibs.

Don’t struggle with virtual interviews

Social distancing and working from home is now the norm. Employers are now adopting virtual interviews. These could be via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype. So you need to get tech savvy. Practice, practice and practice using the software. Have mock interviews with friends  and family but for heavens sake know what you are doing. You need to bring the same level of enthusiasm , professionalism and communication to the table that you would in an in person interview. Don’t forget this is an interview so you need to look the part. Your outfit and your surroundings need to be perfect. Be prepared, be engaged and put the effort in. This is how people are getting jobs now days. It’s the future of recruitment. Make sure you are able to conduct a virtual interview as well if not better than a face to face one.

Don’t use a scatter gun approach

You may be eager to get a job as quickly as possible but beware of applying for every job under the sun. Job seekers are falling into this trap and it only causes frustration. Applying for everything you see, regardless of true interest is not the way to go. If you get an interview for a role, you need to know what role it is and prepare yourself accordingly. You should focus on quality rather thAN quantity applications and invest time to make a customized CV for every role you apply for. Apply only for jobs you fully understand, have the skills and experience for and you will stand out as a strong candidate. Use the scatter gun approach and your CV will probably end up in the bin

Be real about salary

Although there is nothing wrong with aiming high , pushing for a higher salary than you’ve earned or more perks than you have received is not the right thing to do in the midst of a global pandemic. Job seekers who set unrealistic salary expectations are pricing themselves out of a potential job. Employers are already under  extreme pressure to manage their costs during this pandemic and you could benefit from this in the long term. Job seekers who attempt aggressively negotiate or job hop for financial gain will not impress an employer. Unfortunately they will appear to not have a grasp on what is going on in the world.

Be nice and be sensitive

With so many people struggling both personally and professionally because of the coronavirus pandemic, failing to openly acknowledge that the last year has been difficult can come across as you being indifferent to what other people have experienced. Every company you approach will have their own story about how Covid has affected them. You need to be mindful that many companies have had to make redundancies which may impact on employee morale. Being sensitive to the potential impact the pandemic has had on an organization can be a way to demonstrate that you are seriously interested in how the company have managed during these challenging times.

Being inflexible is not acceptable

In spite of this now being an employers market many job seekers are still not flexible on their requirements. The biggest mistake we’ve witnessed is candidates who seem to have little grasp of reality and although they are aware there is a global crisis they do not believe it affects them. Candidates who refuse to be flexible when they are unemployed could find themselves in this position for a very very long time. Flexibility could include being open to a salary drop, working longer hours , receiving less benefits, not have so many holiday days and not getting free parking. You may have to accept some of these things or possibly all of these in order to get a job offer. But remember its better to be in a job than get £74.35 unemployment benefit.

Be patient

If you are unemployed your job search is urgent, but its important that you do not come across needy or pushy. Employers are receiving record numbers of applications for any job they have so if you send your CV to a company don’t expect to hear back tomorrow as it is unlikely that you will. Many employers are actually not back in the office yet so the recruitment process could take a very long time. Do not harass an employer, give them at least two weeks to respond to your CV, if you haven’t heard by then send a polite email chasing your application. By calling an employer and being pushy does demonstrate keenness and enthusiasm in a normal market, in the current market all you are going to do is annoy an employer to the point that they probably won’t even look at your CV

Don’t jump at anything

Coming across as desperate will rarely serve you well in any walk of life. The biggest mistake you can make now is to panic and appear desperate. When in an interview you should never let the employer be aware that you will accept anything. Saying things like “I’m prepared to take  a huge drop in salary” will really turn an employer off. Being unemployed is a crisis, but in a crisis the strong stay strong. Make sure you really want the job, by taking any old job you will seriously damage your future job satisfaction and performance. Employers also want to know you are interested in the job for the right reasons. They want people who are going to settle into their role. They will also probably ask at some point in the interview “why do you want this job?” saying you are desperate and want any old job that’s available will not get you a job offer

Do not hang about

You may be hesitant to apply for a new role because of the pandemic. You may think that its best to leave things at the moment and wait until the pandemic is over. But believe me you would be silly to do this. Employers are still recruiting, not as much as previously, but there are still jobs around. Job seekers who are positive and optimistic are getting job offers. Whilst its tempting to wait for things to blow over, this pandemic is not going anywhere fast. The longer you leave looking for a job the harder it will be for you to get one. Actually you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate how you handle adversity and how you remain optimistic in spite of what’s going on in the world. Don’t become another long term unemployed statistic 

These are unprecedented times. The coronavirus has created enormous challenges not only in our personal lives but also in our professional lives. Proactively seeking a new job in the middle of a crisis is difficult. Figuring out what compromises you need to make can be complicated. Finally dealing with people along the recruitment line in the right way when everyone is dealing with upheaval in the workplace is difficult, so be nice to anyone including Agencies like ourselves who are trying to help you. We are in times of crisis and uncertainty, all you can do is your very very best when looking for a job. Remain proactive, positive and patient at all times and avoid being aggressive, insensitive and pushy. If you can manage this balance you will definitely win the battle and get a job

Good Luck

Angela Burton