Securing a new job can be a stressful experience, particularly if you’re not receiving positive feedback from potential employers. If your applications aren’t moving forward, it’s time to start thinking about your strategy.
Often, great employees are overlooked because of habits they’re not even aware of. By reassessing your approach to job hunting, you can uncover the simple things that are holding you back. This will give you the information and motivation you need to modify your approach. By doing so, you can find the right opportunities and secure your next role.
To get started, take a look at the common habits that could be preventing you from getting a job and find out what to do about them:
- Applying for Too Many Roles
When you want to land a job and you’re happy to do virtually anything, applying for as many roles as possible might seem like the obvious answer. However, applying for multiple roles at once typically means that your resume and applications are fairly broad. This signifies that you’re not interested in working for a specific employer or that you’re not bothered about a particular role. Essentially, potential employers will view your all-encompassing resume as a half-hearted attempt to get a job with them.
Instead of applying for every vacancy you see, highlight the opportunities that you’re really interested in. Then, spend time tailoring your resume and/or application for that specific role, with that particular employer. By doing so, you can highlight your knowledge of the firm and showcase how your skill set will enable you to perform the role. With a little individuality and precision, you’ll be able to gain the attention of future employers.
- You Aren’t Employable
No matter what your skills and experience are, there are some roles that require a little more for you to be employable. If you want to work in the transport industry, for example, you may need a railway medical or a commercial vehicle license before you can begin working. If you don’t have the necessary documentation, then you’re essentially unemployable.
If you’re eager to secure a job and you want to start straight away, it’s important that you have the right licenses, insurance, and medical documentation prepared in advance. While some companies will assist you with this, others won’t. By taking the initiative, you can ensure you’re ready to work immediately, which will impress potential employers and put you ahead of other candidates.
- You’re Frequently Late
A company’s recruitment process can have many stages, so you might be asked to take part in numerous interviews or assessments before being offered a job. Throughout this, potential employers will be looking at your timekeeping to ensure that you’re able to manage your responsibilities.
While sudden emergencies may be unavoidable, frequently being late is unacceptable. Even a delay of two or three minutes indicates that you don’t value the interviewer’s time, which isn’t a great impression to make. If you want to impress recruiters, be sure to arrive early for interviews, whether they’re face-to-face or held via virtual meetings.
- Poor Body Language
Your body language conveys a lot of information, so it’s essential that you’re aware of the message you’re giving interviewers. Slouching, rather than sitting up straight, can come across as laziness or disinterest, for example.
If you’re taking part in a video interview, it’s even more important to focus on your body language. Being in an office environment can automatically put you into ‘professional mode’. When you’re at home on a video call, however, it’s easy to slip into a more relaxed stance. By creating a home workstation, you can help to avoid this and ensure you remain focused and professional at all times.
- Your Tech Solutions Fail
In today’s digital era, many recruiters rely on virtual interviews to decide which candidates to move forward with. It’s highly likely that you’ll be invited to take part in a phone call or video meeting before being offered a face-to-face interview. If you’re applying for a remote working position, you might find that the entire recruitment process takes place virtually.
Due to this, it’s important to have a reliable tech setup. While most people are understanding of one-off tech difficulties, on-going connection problems will have an impact on your performance. Furthermore, many roles now include some form of remote working. If your tech setup doesn’t facilitate virtual meetings, your interviewer might be left wondering whether you’re well-equipped enough to undertake the role.
Fortunately, this is relatively simple to fix. A Wi-Fi extender could be all you need to improve your connectivity, for example. By double-checking your connectivity a couple of hours before an interview, and again 15 minutes before it’s scheduled to start, you can ensure that everything’s working and give yourself time to resolve any potential issues.
- You Don’t Respond to Communication
When a potential employer contacts you, it’s important to respond to their communication. If they’ve sent information that you’ve requested, for example, be sure to reply, confirm receipt and thank them. Ideally, you’ll want to respond quickly. Although you may not be able to reply instantaneously, you certainly don’t want to wait days to get back to them.
Setting notifications on your laptop, tablet or phone will allow you to respond to incoming correspondence promptly. As most communication will take place online, at least at the start of the recruitment process, there’s no excuse for excessive delays. Responding to an email only takes seconds but it can have a major impact on your success as a candidate.
- Dressing Too Informally
Business attire has changed in recent years and most companies don’t insist on staff wearing a suit or equivalent. However, don’t take the casual element of ‘business-casual’ too far. If in doubt, it’s better to dress formally, rather than too informally.
This is another area that can be affected by virtual meetings. You might feel a little silly getting dressed up to sit in your home for an interview, but recruiters will expect to see you looking professional. Dressing like you’re going for a face-to-face interview is a good option, even if you’re communicating via FaceTime, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. Dressing for the office can have an impact on how you present yourself too, so you’ll find it easier to switch into ‘professional mode’ when you’re dressed appropriately.
- Not Paying Attention
Being easily distracted can certainly hold you back when you’re trying to get a new job. An interviewer will notice if you’re looking over their shoulder at what’s going on outside the window, so don’t allow yourself to become distracted by anything else that’s happening. If you do, your lack of focus will be apparent in your answers, which means your entire interview performance will be affected.
When you’re interviewing from home, being distracted can be a major problem. Depending on your home life, you may have children, pets, or other family members nearby. Where possible, aim to create a quiet environment and ensure another adult is on hand to take care of kids and pets while you’re unavailable.
In addition to this, make sure notifications on phones, tablets, and computers are set to silence while you’re taking part in an interview. Being distracted by pop-ups on the screen or discreetly checking your emails won’t be well-received, so be sure to give the interviewer your full attention at all times.
- You’re Not Motivated
If you’ve been searching for a job for some time, it’s hard not to feel discouraged. Unfortunately, this can sometimes come across as apathy when you’re speaking with a potential employer. No matter how disheartened you might feel, don’t let this show when you’re communicating with a recruiter. Instead, treat every opportunity as though it’s your first and don’t allow past rejections to impact your current performance.
Employers want to hire candidates who are motivated and committed, so these are key attributes you need to showcase throughout the recruitment process. Practicing mindfulness and spending a few moments in quiet contemplation before every interview can allow you to let go of negative emotions and summon the motivation and confidence you need to succeed.
Securing Your Next Job Role
Whether you’re looking for your dream job or you simply need to make ends meet, learning how to handle the recruitment process is essential. Instead of focusing on what you want from the exchange, start thinking about what recruiters are looking for. By assessing the process from their point of view, you’ll find it far easier to manage interactions and showcase the skills and attributes potential employers are looking for.
Although the job market can feel crowded at times, searching for roles that match your skills, experience and personality can be the best way to determine which opportunities to apply for. When you’re genuinely excited about the prospect of taking on a specific role or working for a particular employer, this will shine through in your communications with them.
Now you know which habits could be holding you back, you have everything you need to restart your job search. By modifying your interview techniques and enhancing your applications, you can look forwarding to secure your next job role.