If you’re looking for a job, you need to be diligent. If you’re applying for jobs, you need to follow directions. These job hunting mistakes may kill your chances at getting hired, so read up and pay attention!
1. Not tailoring your resume for the job for which you’re applying. A generic resume will not get nearly as much attention as a resume that’s clearly been revised to fit the job for which you’re striving. Try to use the keywords that are in the job listing within your resume to be sure it gets picked up, whether it be by automated services or by an actual HR manager.
2. Not looking up the hiring manager’s name. Whether you’re applying to a specific boss or to a human resources manager, do your due diligence and look up the person’s name to whom you’re writing a cover letter! It’s such a small measure that makes a huge difference, because hiring managers will be impressed by you doing your research into the company.
3. Not writing a cover letter. Always, always, always write a cover letter to introduce yourself. If your job listing specifies to attach just a resume, write at the very least a brief cover letter in the body of your email to introduce yourself and make an impression on whoever’s lucky enough to pick up your application.
4. Not writing a thank you note. My current boss at my day job actually told me flat out that my personalized thank you notes to him and his boss played a role in my getting hired. To be fair, I had a solid reference at the company and I was overqualified anyway, but it still made a difference. Never forget to send a handwritten note as soon as you get home from your interview, or as soon as you hang up the phone from a phone interview.
5. Not following up. Many job listings will tell you not to follow up, but it’s not necessarily a hard and fast rule. Just be sure you’re following up with an actual contact at the company, and only do so, via email or phone, once per week until you get a response.