When you’re looking for a new job, it pays to concentrate on what you can control.
You can’t make the perfect opportunity appear, or influence the hiring manager’s mood when he’s reviewing resumes, or alter company policy to ensure that you receive a call back in a timely fashion.
Here’s what you can control: you. You have absolute control over everything you do during a job search, from crafting your resume and cover letter to communicating with potential employers to conducting yourself professionally during a job interview.
To maximize your chances of getting an offer, you need to put your best foot forward. Below are the do’s and don’ts to look out for when job searching.
1. Don’t blow your job search
Job searching can be tough enough all by itself. There is no need to make it even harder by doing or saying the wrong thing when job searching or interviewing. Here’s a list of what you shouldn’t do, so you don’t have to wonder why you didn’t get a call or didn’t get the job.
2. Do boost your job search with LinkedIn
Be sure to use the full power of LinkedIn to assist with your search for a new job. It’s important to effectively use your connections and to use the information available on LinkedIn when you’re job searching and growing your career.
3. Do use a job search engine
Job search engine sites, allow users to search all the major job sites, company sites, associations and other online job sites by keyword and location, at the same time. Use a job search engine to speed up your job search. Also try Google for Jobs to see if you can save even more time searching.
4. Do write a customized cover letter
Why personalize your cover letter for every job? Because you’re not just looking for any gig — and you want to make sure that the hiring manager knows it. Customize your letter every time, and make sure your message is crafted specifically for the job. That will show the employer why you’re the best choice for the position.
5. Do dress appropriately for an interview
When you are dressing for a job interview, image really is (almost) everything. The image you present to a potential employer is the first thing they are going to notice about you — before you even have a chance to say a word or shake a hand. What shouldn’t you wear to a job interview? Casual attire that’s better suited for the weekend than the workplace, too much makeup or perfume, or attire that will look dated or worn out. (And leave the headphones at home or keep them in your bag).
6. Don’t make these interview mistakes
What shouldn’t you do when interviewing? Review these blunders, mistakes, and errors a candidate for employment can make, and spend time preparing to interview so they don’t happen to you!
7. Do send a thank you-note
Writing a thank-you letter, or thank-you email, after an employment interview is a must. In fact, some employers think less of those interviewees who fail to follow up promptly. Plan to send out your thank-you letters or thank-you notes as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours) after your interview.
8. Do be careful job searching from work
Given the way companies monitor employees, it’s not wise to use your work computer or email account for job searching. There are also ethical issues with job searching on your boss’s dime (even if you can’t stand him or her). Be careful how and when you job search from work, so you don’t lose your job because you’re looking for a new one.
9. Do be aware of social media do’s and don’ts
Social media, including sites like Twitter and Facebook, can help you find a job and connect with people who can assist you with growing your career. However, it works both ways. Social media when used the wrong way can backfire and jeopardize a job offer or even your current job. It’s important to be careful and consider what you shouldn’t do, as well as what you should do, when using social media to job search.
10. Do follow these steps to get a new job
Let’s face it: when you’re looking for a new job, time is at a premium. This quick guide pares down the search to the bare essentials. Learn the steps to take to find a new job, including where to look for jobs, the top job sites, how to use your connections, how to ace the interview, and how to follow up.