Dear Millennials, Please Don’t Make These Job Search Mistakes
So you're about to start your job search - or maybe you've been trucking along for the past few months with no success. Maybe you're looking to make a switch from your current role.
Whatever your case may be, looking for a job can be a long and taxing journey - especially for millennials looking to make their mark and kick start their career in this ever-changing landscape.
So to help you along we've partnered with REST Industry Super and gathered the most common pitfalls to avoid so you don't burn out early in your search.
Stick with it, breathe, you got this...
1. don't apply before you prepare
Before you start looking, make sure all your important documents are in order. First and foremost, it's time to perfect your resume. Compile all of your experience and structure it highlighting only the most relevant roles. Have a portfolio of your previous work in the appropriate format (video, written, reports) on hand. We also recommend building strong relationships with your references, as they will be your number one fan during the interview process.
Next your digital resume; your LinkedIn page. It shouldn't be a straight replication of your hard copy resume. Instead use all the features at your finger tips, including endorsed skills, examples of work, digital references and open your account to recruiters.
Preparation will only help you feel more confident so research the landscape of your industry; what kind of jobs is it in desperate need for? What companies interest you in this area?
There's no point in applying before you're ready to answer any and all questions thrown at you.
2. don't just apply for anything
So you're fully prepared - but what do you apply for? Make educated selections; we're not saying disregard opportunities, but focus on avenues that actually make sense for your career trajectory.
Start by defining your career objective and the ladder that will get you there. This may not be the traditional route, but if you make a wish list of companies you want to work for and research the appropriate contacts you can match your qualifications to the relevant roles available. Eventually you will feel confident and be well-equipped to jump into your job search with the knowledge to back your applications.
3. don't narrow but learn how to refine your search
Searching 'jobs in Sydney' in Google will only cause a mild anxiety attack and several million results.
The trick is in refining your search without narrowing your opportunities. Head to all the key search engines; Seek, Indeed, The Loop, CareerOne and then make sure to build a profile which works in your favour.
Select sectors, salary expectation, job level and don't forget to clarify the date of the job post so you can sift through the maze to the true gold. There are also portals that do this for you, like MTV Jobs if you're keen to check out the best the media industry has to offer all in one location.
4. don't just rely on job search engines
Now that you've mastered the job search engines, it's important not to rely solely on them when looking for your next job.
Seek out recruiters who will work on your behalf and hone in on appropriate networks, which could include contacts who are already in the field or your references. Who you know, and not being afraid to ask for help, can be powerful tools.
5. don't set too high expectations
It is so important to not be disheartened if at first you don't get a job as soon as you thought you would. The landscape can be tough, and a thick skin is a great asset when it comes to competitive fields. It may take time, but you will get there.
You also need to be realistic. If you're only qualified for entry level roles, don't expect to land an interview for a managerial position. Wishful thinking just won't cut it.
6. don't put all your eggs in one basket
Quick hypothetical: You get your dream job interview and you immediately stop your search and focus all of your energy on one role, at one company, in one city. Well, it's simple: don't do that.
Getting an interview is half the battle - here's a comprehensive guide to nailing it - but much like hunting for a new apartment, you need to keep looking and not put all your hopes on one. The interview stage means you're up against the cream of the crop so while you must prepare, make sure you're still casting your net for other opportunities.
You can also use multiple job offers as a leverage when it comes to negotiating your salary. Keep looking and then weigh up the best opportunity on the table.
7. don't lie
This is kind of an obvious one, but it's amazing how many people still think it's ok to embellish their skills for jobs outside of their reach. Say you land the job and then you're assigned a task you have no idea how to complete - your probation period will come quick and it's easy to get caught out in one of those 'little white lies'.
Instead focus on the skills you do have and highlight how your expertise can't be overlooked by your potential employer.
8. don't make it all about you
If you're lucky to get an interview, then you're in the mix with a much smaller, competitive group. So how do you standout?
It is so important to not talk too much but use all of your preparation (remember above? You are SO prepared) to show your potential employer how YOUR skills can help THEM.
A common mistake is to harp on about how much you want the job - of course you do. But why does the company want you? If you can answer that question succinctly and eloquently, you'll land the job nine times out of ten.
9. don't sit and wait
It's called following up, not stalking.
So your interview is done and now you wait. Actually.....NO, you don't. At least not for too long.
Follow up with a short email the next day thanking your interviewer for their time and showing your excitement for the role. If you don't receive a call in the next week, a follow up email is not out of the question.
Even if you don't get the role, always ask for feedback so you can improve for your next interview (which you've already lined up if you listened to point #6).
Feel ready for the process? Kick start it right here.