It only takes one slip-up to destroy your chances of landing your dream engineering job. Throughout your search and interviewing process, take steps to avoid the most common mistakes made by today’s job hunters.
In Your Search Process
A well-planned job search covers all the bases. Avoid the following:
- Failure to have a plan: Unless you have a structured plan, you may become overwhelmed and lost in your search. Make a job hunting schedule and stick to it. Set a realistic number of targeted tasks each day, such as updating your LinkedIn profile, talking to a new person in your field or setting up a lunch or coffee meeting.
- Relying solely on job boards to find openings: It is estimated that only 2 to 5 percent of candidates who e-mail their resumes get any response – and that includes rejections. Job boards have the lowest effectiveness rates when compared with using recruiters and networking contacts.
- Failure to network effectively: Be proactive when you network. It’s about more than just telling your contacts you’re looking for a job. Attend events, participate in professional organizations, connect with other engineers through social media, and get out there. Now is not the time for complacency.
On Your Resume
Your resume and cover letter will get you in the door for an interview. Steer clear of these resume mistakes:
- A weak summary: Your resume summary – both in print and on LinkedIn – needs to clearly and concisely highlight your unique strengths. It should make hiring managers notice you and speak to “Here’s what I can do for you.”
- Irrelevant information: If information doesn’t apply to the specific job or employer, it doesn’t belong on your resume. Customize every resume and cover letter that you send. Include keywords taken from the job description.
- Failure to focus on career accomplishments: Employers want solid examples of how you performed in the past. Use powerful language including action verbs. Be as specific as possible, using numbers and percentages to underline results.
- Spelling or grammar errors: Enough said.
At Your Interview
Here’s where the rubber meets the road – and you meet your prospective employer in person for the first time. Be sure you don’t commit these faux pas:
- Tardiness: Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Your promptness and organization are signs of how you would behave on the job.
- Failure to prepare: Thoroughly research the company and the position. Job seekers who do as much homework as possible feel more in control of the process and likely find positions that they will be happier with than those who don’t prepare ahead of time. From a hiring manager’s perspective, this demonstrates your interest and commitment.
- Negative body language: Use a firm handshake, make eye contact with everyone, and project an air of confidence and assertiveness, without being aggressive.
- Failure to build rapport: Be polite and professional with everyone you encounter, from security guards, parking attendants and receptionists to the person who walks you out at the end of your meeting. Negative feedback from a staff member could be the deal breaker when it comes to a final hiring decision.
For additional guidance and resources as you progress through your job search – and to find opportunities that are the right fit for you – contact the expert hiring team at CPS Recruitment®. We’ll make sure you jump all the hurdles and avoid any pitfalls along the way to career success.