How NOT to look for a job?

Errors during job search

Candidates actively looking for a job very often ask us why companies do not answer their applications. No wonder – it can be frustrating! If you send hundreds of CVs and no one contacts you or stops contacting you after a meeting – this article is for you. I will give you the most popular mistakes in job search that candidates make. Perhaps some of them you make unconsciously.

You are looking for a job only when you lose it

This is a very common phenomenon and you are probably wondering why look for a job when you have one? First of all for your own mental comfort! If you feel that your current job no longer brings you satisfaction, you feel chronically tired and you have a headache on your mind about Monday – it is high time to change something. It is worthwhile to observe the labor market and the economic situation of the company in which you work – then no one will surprise you with a dismissal and you will prepare yourself to find a better offer.

Sudden loss of job is a very popular reason for fear. The pressure to quickly find something new can hurt us even more, stressing us that we will soon have nothing to pay our bills from. Then we fall into a trap – we start chaotically applying for all possible offers. As time becomes longer on unemployment, our sense of value decreases and frustration increases. Give yourself the freedom to search – you will gain a sense of security. Looking for a job while we are still employed, you actually have nothing to lose – you are more self-confident and failure is not so severe.

You prepare your CV in a hurry

It is not without reason that I divided my CV into two subsections – it is still the main source of inefficient job search! Admit it to yourself – how much time did you spend to take care of your business card? Your CV is the first place a potential employer learns about you – do not let it become the last one.

Have you probably heard about recruiters who stop reading someone’s CV after a few seconds? Unfortunately, this is often true. So what if you have impressive experience, have completed many courses if you can’t show it? Don’t treat writing your CV as a sad duty, but as something you want to boast about and look good. If you feel you can’t do it well enough – don’t be afraid to ask for specialist support. Many recruiters are able to help you improve the look of your CV in such a way that you will look at your abilities in a new light! And one more thing – the content is most important, but that is not all. If you have the opportunity, ask a graphic designer for help. A clean and legible CV will definitely stand out more if it is not a dry text written in the Times New Roman font.

You have one resume for each process

Unfortunately, many candidates do not know how important it is to match the CV to the selected offer. And sometimes small corrections and emphasizing the appropriate competences can work wonders! Let me give you an example. Imagine two pairs of pants: one in a universal size that fits everyone and the other sewn by a tailor especially for you. Theoretically, both pairs fulfill their roles. However, it will be much more to your face in those that are prepared especially for you. You will be more comfortable in them too. The same goes for your CV.

The CV, which you already have, is a summary of all your experiences. Consider it as a foundation. It fulfills its role, but does not emphasize your skills useful for a specific position. How do you write a tailor-made CV then? When reviewing the requirements for a desired position, pay attention to the elements that define the ideal candidate. For example: Candidate Jan is an experienced salesman. He has considerable experience in both individual (B2C) and business (B2B) sales. The offer he is currently reviewing concerns the sales position for business customers. In such a situation, Jan should list all the achievements in B2B sales from his extensive experience. The recruiter will pay special attention to them.

Lack of organization in the search

Admit it – you happened to apply chaotically for all the available offers and then you didn’t remember which positions you applied for? It probably ended badly during the telephone interview, because you were not able to say anything about the company from which the recruiter called. Let me tell you a little secret – for the employer your motivation is of great importance. Why? Seeing a motivated employee, from the very beginning of the recruitment process he gets a signal that as an employed employee you will be very committed and willing to work.

If you apply for positions in different companies, create a paper or online document in which you will gather the most important information about the company and the position you are applying for. Additionally, create a column with your questions or thoughts. Such a table can also help you when you make your employment decision! You can create your evaluation criteria and compare the benefits of working for each of the companies you apply to. Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview.

No plan and goals set

Before you enter “job offers” in the search engine, think about your requirements. Then confront it with your previous experience and think about it – do you want to develop further in the same industry or do you want to change something? Gather all your requirements and then combine them with your employer’s offer. Have you written down your requirements before? Great, you saved a few valuable hours! Now plan your next steps. Determine how much time you give yourself for each stage of your search. Such a plan will allow you to control the situation and you will certainly feel calmer.

Additionally, check if the job offer includes the expected time between the stages of the recruitment process and the number of stages. There are processes that contain only two stages of the recruitment process, as well as those that contain several stages – remember that there is usually a week break between these stages, and some employers give themselves 2 weeks to make a decision about your employment – therefore, during the whole planning process, it is worth taking into account how much time the whole recruitment process will take.

You’re going ‘on the edge’ instead of preparing for the interview

How many times did you go to the conversation spontaneously? Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had read about the employer or practiced the answers to the classic questions that appear in the interview? You won’t go back in time, but you can prepare yourself better for all the conversations that await you! Not only the face-to-face ones, but also the telephone ones, which serve as the first contact in the recruitment process.

What questions should you prepare yourself for during a conversation with a potential employer? Many of them depend on the company and expectations – it is possible that you will come up with a solution to a hypothetical situation. However, there are some questions you will always hear: What do you know about the company you are applying to? What is your motivation to start work/change jobs? What is your professional experience? What elements of your experience will you use for the position? There are a lot of such “classic” questions, so it is worth knowing the answer to them beforehand. So prepare yourself as well as possible for this stage of the recruitment process!

Looking for work passively

I can bet that when I count your ways of looking for a job, I will stop at the fingers of one hand. Among them we will find:

  • Searching on job portals with advertisements
  • Viewing offers on LinkedIn and in groups on Facebook
  • Checking the “Career” tab on the pages of employers you are interested in
  • Meetings by recommendation from friends and family
  • Visit to the Labour Office

But this is only a handful of solutions. Are they good? Of course, in some cases it is enough. However, it soon turns out that looking for a job this way gives you a very narrow range of companies in which you can work. What is more, it is very likely that you will not find the job that suits you best! Because do your friends always have an interesting offer for you? Does the company in which you think you want to work often recruit someone with your qualifications? And finally: how many applications (and of what quality) do you send when you scroll through portals with ads?

It’s worth looking for other ways – of course, it costs a little more effort, but it will probably help you to find a place better suited to your qualifications. To find out more, you should definitely check out our life, in which, together with Jagoda Naumczyk – our career advisor – we describe as many as 12 ways to look for a job.

You have a claimant approach to the employer

Humility and once again humility! You may not admit it at first sight, but you may have come to believe that you deserve more for no apparent reason. Remember that when you work for someone, the boss has the last word. Don’t start a conversation with your demands and try to avoid making claims. This is an extremely undesirable feature for candidates.

But don’t confuse claiming with an assertive attitude! The latter is the ability to express your feelings, emotions and needs without the intention of hurting other people. I encourage you to always express your opinion – just do it in a professional way. Humility and assertiveness are qualities that many employers appreciate very much.

We are quickly discouraged

The speed of finding a new job depends on several factors. First of all, the general situation on the labour market, the industry, the position you are interested in and your competences and experience. We have no influence on some of these things, but we can take care of the development of our competences and good preparation for the recruitment process. When looking for a job, it is worth having a plan B – both in terms of industry and location. This will allow us to increase the search area. Unfortunately, it often happens that when applying for many offers, only a part of employers will contact you. It is worth drawing conclusions from such a situation and thinking about what may be the source of the problem. And of course, do not be discouraged! Draw conclusions from your failures and analyze the feedback you get when you reject your application. Remember to always ask for it! Emotions often take over, so you don’t have to do it the day you receive a rejection. Remember, however, that the employer’s decision may have been due to your error during the interview or a minor lack of qualifications. Sometimes the question of training the language or learning a particular thing can turn the results of the search to your advantage. Remember not to stick to one employer’s offer.

Lack of confidence accompanies you every step of the way

During a job interview, we need to present ourselves well in order to get a job. Or, calling things by their first name, sell themselves. Going to the interview, think about what you can give the company and why it is worth hiring you. This is the time to sum up all your successes and strengths. Remember that big successes come from small steps and challenges you take every day – write down all your successes and small steps every day in a journal. This will help you prepare for the conversation, because thanks to this you will not forget about any achievement. Remember that numbers work well for potential employers – let yourself be known as an effective, efficient and proactive person. If you don’t think about your strengths or are not sure about your competences – help yourself with competence tests! You will find those that will help you test both soft and hard competences. A good example is the language test, which will help you to quickly determine your level on a European scale.

Believe in yourself and show what you can do! Of course – with self-confidence it can vary. Did you know that according to Hewlett Packard’s research, men apply for ads that meet only 60% of the requirements? Women decide to apply when they meet 100% of expectations. As far as I know, this does not mean that more women are employed. Application? Remember that you are your worst critic, and the requirements that the employer has set can look terrible on paper. Approach it with a smile on your face and open-mindedness – they cost nothing and can help a lot!

So what is the recipe for an effective search? Above all, avoid the above mentioned mistakes, take care of your preparation for the conversation and above all – prepare an action plan! If any of the stages of the search scares you, you don’t know which way to direct your career, or creating a CV that fits your offer seems too difficult to you – visit the website:

Help from professionals is not an expense, but an investment! It will allow you to go further than you could do without anyone’s help. We hope that thanks to the above entry you already know how not to look for a job.

Anna Jaskowska

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