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Top Ten Job Seeker Mistakes

It is often said that looking for a new job is a job in itself. With today's job market as competitive as it has ever been, it is imperative that your application stands out from the pack. However if you don't get the basics of your job search right, then the mistakes you make will prolong and possibly eliminate your chances of landing the job you want.

Here are some of the most common job seeker mistakes that can prevent you from securing your next job.

1. Lack of plan and objective setting
The old adage 'fail to plan, plan to fail' is as true now as it has ever been. If you know where you want to be and the job you want, it is easier to get there.

When commencing your job search decide the ideal job for you and aim for it. There is a saying if you dont know where you are going you'll end up getting nowhere.

2. Failing to keep your job search a secret
A recent survey by an on line recruitment company found that 64% of jobseekers have been caught by their boss searching the web for a new job. So don't use your company email address on any job applications and create a personal email account specifically for your job search.

Don't blindly go copying and pasting your CV on every job board you find without first considering that your current employer may be using the web to search for new candidates - the last thing you want is for your boss to find your details.

3. Jeopardising your current job
You have resolved to find yourself a new job but, don't shoot yourself in the foot by making colleagues and your boss suspicious if you start slacking. If you don't secure another job, you have will to stay where you are for a while longer and you could be putting your existing position under threat. Remember, you may need your boss to provide you with a reference.

4. Using the scattergun approach and not doing your homework
Most job hunters fall into the trap of applying for jobs on the internet using a blanket approach. This potentially alienates prospective employers because applications are de-personalised, untailored and fail to address the requirements that particular company is looking for.

Find out everything you can about the organisation from the internet, previous job adverts, networking or simply by telephoning the company themselves and talking informally with a member of the staff.

If you are working with a good recruiter your consultant should be able to help you with this research.

5. Customise your CV and covering letter
It may seem tempting to simply cut and paste the same CV and covering letter to several employers, but it could cost you in the long run. Tailor your CV to the job you are applying and only include relevant information that will demonstrate how your experience links to the advertised position.

6. Failure to follow-up
Don't wait for an employer to respond to your application. It is possible that they will receive several CVs every day and they may not have time to respond on an individual basis. Telephone or email the employer or your recruiter a week later to establish personal contact and gauge if you are likely to be considered should a suitable position arise. If not, then use this as an opportunity to ask for feedback which will help improve your chances for future applications.

7. Poorly arranged interviews
Shakespeare once said: "Apparel oft proclaims the man," and dressing successfully (or unsuccessfully) can make or break your job interview. A survey by a University in the U.S. revealed that women who dress more like Hilary Clinton or Natasha Kaplinsky are more likely to get hired and promoted than someone who dresses less smartly.

8. Dressing inappropriately
Arrange interviews before or after normal business hours as much as possible. But, if it's unavoidable then schedule them during lunchtimes or arrange annual leave for a day and schedule multiple interviews on one day. Remember to be subtle - if you typically wear jeans to work but suddenly start dressing in a suit, questions will soon be asked. So, don't advertise the fact that you are looking for another job.

9. Errors on your CV
Your CV is designed to do just one thing: to get you an interview. The average recruiter will only spend between 20 to 30 seconds glancing at a CV. But, nearly half of all CVs contain grammatical and spelling errors, which can mean the difference between being short-listed or not, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

10. Lack of confidence
Job seeking is never easy and there will be times when you will want to give up and resign yourself to staying in your current job. But don't give up. Experts estimate that the average job search can last anywhere from two months to ten months. So be patient and have the belief that you will find your dream job just around the corner.

Finally, remember if you continue to do what you have always done you will always get what you have had before.

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