If your job search has yet to yield the results you’d hoped for, it’s time to reevaluate your efforts and see what you can do differently. Even qualified and capable candidates can make mistakes that can hurt them when it comes to landing a new opportunity. If you’re hoping to have a more productive job search in 2015, make sure you’re avoiding these costly clichés:
Using “sir” or “madam” in your cover letter
Instead of just slapping on a “sir” or “madam” as you write your cover letter and calling it a day, take some time to conduct research and find out the name of the hiring manager who will be reading your materials. A generic introduction indicates that you may not have put in the full amount of time or dedication necessary when applying for that job. It can also signal that you’re not detail-oriented. With LinkedIn, Google, and other resources, it’s easier than ever to find the name of the hiring manager to whom you’re writing.
Using generic terms
Cover up your name and address on your résumé. Reading only the descriptions of yourself and your work, could your résumé be talking about any number of different employees? If your answer is a resounding “yes” then your résumé is too general. If you’re throwing in terms like “results-oriented” and “team player” then your résumé isn’t going to be effective. You need to hone the document so that it speaks specifically to your skills and your successes. What can you do that other people can’t? What have you accomplished that other people haven’t? List real examples and case studies to back up why you’re absolutely the most qualified person for the role.
Stating “references available upon request”
Your résumé can’t go on and on for dozens of pages, so take out this useless line and replace it with something that really drives a point home about how you’d be a valuable asset to that company. It’s implied that references are available. Instead, throw in a stat about new business you helped bring in or a certification you got last year. It’s going to be much more effective.
What are you doing to bring your job search to the next level in 2015? Let us know in the comments.