What are some key mistakes I should avoid?
Jumping into the search before figuring out what you really want. Many people in the job search make the mistake of sending their resume to just about every job opening in their area without taking the time to really think about where they want to go with their career, and what that next step might look like. Don’t be desperate for a job. Take the time to figure out what jobs are the right fit for you. You’ll be happier and a better worker this way.
Taking a passive approach. Many people wait for a job posting to show up and only apply to those. However, this “passive” approach misses a lot of opportunities that may never be advertised. Thus, the importance of networking and having your name out there. Networking gives you an edge in that you may uncover hidden job opportunities. Beyond this, the next edge that you get is that your reference may drop in a word for you, instead of your application only being one amongst many.
Sending out the same resume and cover letter to multiple job openings. It cannot be emphasized enough that you must customize your application materials to the specific positions you apply for. First, most of the initial sorting of applications is done by computers looking for a precise match to the job description. Second, your ability to communicate your qualifications, fit for the job (and company), and how the position fits in a larger narrative about your career trajectory, is critical to stand out among a field of competing candidates. Generic applications are easy for recruiters to spot – you don’t want to be “that guy.”
1 This page is compiled from materials found Work Bloom. Specific source material can be located at https://workbloom.com/job-search/faq-about-job-searching.