Frustrated with sending out your CV and hearing nothing back? Losing patience with recruiters who take a lot of your time, but give very little away?
The last year has been exceptionally tough for so many of us. Jobs lost, hours cut, careers put on hold without warning. For a lot of us, there’s no time to lose in finding a new source of stable income.
Tiptoeing around the issues isn’t going to land you a new job. So I’m going to be honest and direct.
Your hard work is what’s going to land you that role. Sorry to burst the bubble, but in this game, there are no magic quick-fix money-makers.
Ready to get serious about getting employed? Learning to avoid these all-too-common mistakes is a solid step 1.
Mistake 1: Thinking it’s a recruiter’s job to find you work
I’m a recruiter turned career coach, so I’ve seen both sides of the fence.
I can tell you, hand on heart, what so many people don’t realise about recruiters: they’re not there to get you a job. They’re there to find the client the ideal hire. When push comes to shove, they’re on the client’s side. Not yours.
I know it's frustrating not hearing back from a recruiter. You might think they could at least give you some feedback on your CV so you can improve it for next time. But l’ll say it one more time: it's not a recruiter’s job to get you a job, and you aren't paying them for a CV review service!
So if you think your work’s done when you’ve hit send on a recruiter’s job ad, you’re wrong. A live job ad can get over 250 CVs submitted, so you need to put in the legwork around it.
A lot of jobseekers also don’t realise that the same recruiter usually advertises the same role across multiple platforms. So, if you’re sending out your CV to every opportunity you clap eyes on, chances are it’s landing on the same recruiter’s desk time and time again.
That does nothing for your credibility. It just makes you come across as desperate.
Mistake 2: Thinking your CV will speak for itself
Yes, you should put time and effort into crafting a CV that sells your skills. And yes, it does take time to start a stand-out CV from scratch. But isn’t your career - aren’t you - worth that time?
A killer CV is a must-have asset. We all know that. But alone, it’s not enough. It won’t do much for you if you haven’t got a wider strategy in place around it.
You need to network. If you don’t, you’re just sending that stellar CV out into a pretty hostile void.
Now, the idea of ‘building your personal brand’ does tend to conjure up a few negative connotations. It’s false. It’s spam. It’s the career equivalent of shameless social climbing.
But done right, it’s anything but. It sends a clear signal that you’re genuine, interested, approachable and available.
Time and again, I’ve seen my coaching clients get positive responses when they take a direct approach.
The key is taking the time to research and tailor your outreach, making sure you aim for the right person at your chosen company. And above all, stay authentic.
Mistake 3: Thinking you don’t need LinkedIn
These days, only 20% of open roles are advertised. With advertising costs shooting up, that’s set to shrink even more. So where’s the 80% getting hired?
It’s the first port of call for recruiters and hiring managers before they advertise a role. If your profile isn’t an all-star representation of who you are and what you do, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Mistake 4: Covering all bases, to see what sticks
If you’re going after a huge range of roles and trying to chameleon your way into all of them, you’ll burn out before you get anywhere. Trust me.
Get clear on what you’re good at, and what you want. Define your skills, your strengths, and what you want your next steps to be. Then, research the job roles that fit the bill, and the right type of company culture for you.
Yes, you need a stable income - the sooner the better. But don’t waste your energy chasing roles that aren’t the right fit.
Focus on where you want to be, what you’re inspired to excel at, and what you can bring to the table for your company of choice.
Hiring managers will notice.
Mistake 5: Applying even when you’re overqualified
“With your skill sets and experience, you may be overqualified for the role. I know my client is looking to pay around X for this position.”
Ever been served up this response from a recruiter, and thought it was a cop-out?
You knew you were overqualified when you applied. But it’s all there is right now. Or, the realities of the job market have knocked your confidence, so you think it’s safer to hedge your bets.
You can stay comfortably convinced of your abilities, and the client sees a dream come true: someone with far more experience than required coming in to fill the role, taking it to new heights. Win-win, right?
You need to get real. See it from the client’s actual perspective, not the rose-tinted one you’re pasting over them. Why would they hire someone who - as soon as they’re through the door - will be constantly on the lookout for a job that better fits their skills, and offers higher pay?
Be selective, know your level, and know your worth. Over-applying devalues your brand, and applying for roles you’re overqualified for devalues what you have to offer.
Ready to leave these headaches behind and land a job you love?
I’d love to have you join my free Masterclass: The Ultimate Guide to Job Search Success. Packed with insider tips on knowing your worth, applying intelligently and taking back control of your career, it’s designed with you (yes, you) in mind.