Job Seeker Do’s and Don’ts

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Man listening to angel and devilWhen you’re looking for a new job, don’t just stumble around, be purposeful and knowledgeable about your hunt. You spend 8 hours a day there, 5 days a week, probably more. This is a big decision, and one that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Common, seemingly small mistakes can make a big difference between landing the dream job and an endless search, wondering why you’re not getting the call back.

Odds are this isn’t your first, or your last job hunt so keep these do’s and don’ts of job seekers tips in your arsenal.

Do Network (but do it the right way)

How many times have you been at the bar and the same drunk guy keeps handing you his business card. Don’t be that guy. There is a time and place for networking. Don’t get it wrong, that place is very often the bar, but display some control and know when you’re over that threshold.

It turns out that an incredible 80 percent of jobs are landed through networking. But not everyone is born networker; some of us aren’t good at it. We aren’t all social butterflies and we don’t all check our klout scores every day. But the biggest mistake you can make is not networking at all.

Don’t Wait Around

The average unemployed U.S. citizen spends about 40 minutes per day on their job search, and a ridiculous 200 minutes watching TV. Every minute you spend on Netflix could be the minute that your dream job has just been landed by a go-getter. This statistic is just pathetic; if you need a job, go get it! Fifty percent of new hires applied for the position within the first seven days of the job listing. Time to fill is in the forefront of every hiring manager’s mind, so get on it.

Do Use Social Media (but again, do it the right way)

Social media is a fantastic way to stay connected and keep some irons in the fire. But it’s not only a networking tool. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are used by employers or hiring managers to catch a glimpse of you, see what you’re about and who you’re in circles with. So keep it clean. Keep your professional networking sites professional, and control what you want others to see. These sites also work the other way. The best way to get a feel of a company’s employer brand or company culture is to check out their sites. You can learn a lot about a company just from searching around their social media for a few minutes.

According to a Forbes article, “How Social Media can Help (or hurt) You in Your Job Search”, of the 37 percent of employers who use social media to screen candidates:

  •  65% said they do it to see if the job seeker presents himself or herself professionally.
  • About half (51%) want to know if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture.
  • 45% want to learn more about his or her qualifications.
  • Some cited “to see if the candidate is well-rounded” and “to look for reasons not to hire the candidate,” as their motives.
  • A third (34%) of employers who scan social media profiles said they have found content that has caused them not to hire the candidate.

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate Your Salary

Eighteen percent of employees never took the time or opportunity to negotiate their salary. This can be a scary thing. As the new hire, you are sometimes made to feel that the ball is entirely in their court. This simply isn’t the case. They spent time and money on reading your resume, arranging and executing the interview, deliberating over the choice of hire, and doing a background check. They aren’t going to give you the boot if you start talking numbers. If you’re prepared with a counter offer, you’ll know exactly what’s on the table, instead of walking out never knowing, and waiting for a 6 month employee evaluation.

Do Edit

Nothing will kill your chances before you even get in the door like an error filled resume or profile. Check and re-check any and all materials that can be potentially seen by a hiring manager. If you didn’t pay attention to detail in your job search, that sends a clear message that you aren’t thorough.

Don’t be a Downer

If you take nothing else from these do’s and don’ts, please take this: Eighty-five percent of the decision to promote or hire an employee is based on the employee’s attitude. No one wants to work with a jerk, so don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Be relaxed, confident and positive in all interactions with your hiring manager.

Read more in Job Search Advice

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
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