Not adjusting their resume for each and every job
With the domination of Applicant Tracking Systems (robots), you now need to adjust your resume EVERY time you are applying for a job online. Now it doesn’t need to be adjusted much (and I teach my clients how to quickly alter their profiles and skills list), but you need to be tweaking your resume to align with the job advertisement keywords. This gives you the best possible chance of your resume actually being read by a human being, rather than being discarded.
Now when optimising for key words, you don’t have to go nuts (e.g. stuffing your resume with dozens of key words). Plus, if you have a narrow job search, (that is you aren’t applying for multiple different types of jobs), the process is very easy.
BUT, most job seekers aren’t taking up this advice. If applying for multiple roles, they believe that all they need is a few different versions of their resume. However, this won’t necessarily work, as the resume is not adjusted for the specific job (which is crucial). The steps you need to take:
- Read the job advertisement and highlight all the relevant skills and education they require.
- Go back to your resume and ensure that each of the highlighted key words have been incorporated into your resume.
- If you don’t have the bulk of the skills they require, don’t bother applying (you won’t make the shortlist).
I personally hate the system, as it is focussed on key words, not talent and human beings. But this is the current job search reality, if you limit your job search to online processes, such as job boards.
Thinking government jobs equals job security
There is no such thing as job security in government. Yes, there are some super jobs. Yes, some people have been there for many years in a plum government job. But I’ve lost count of the number of government workers that have been made redundant by cuts to government funding, including senior professionals. It happens ALL the time.
There is no such thing as job security, whether private or public. The key to job security is to always be prepared for your next move. That is, instead of having things ‘happen to you’ make your career happen. Whether acquiring new skills, applying for a job in a new organisation, expanding your network, or optimising your LinkedIn profile, so recruiters can find you, there is an opportunity every day to move towards your optimal and ideal job, so you are always employed in an awesome job.
Not paying enough attention to their social media accounts
Anything you post online will get scrutinised by employers. If you thought the problem was just Google, Facebook and LinkedIn tracking your usage (interests, purchases, search browsing, location history), then think again!
The real problem is outsiders viewing your data and using it for their own purposes. This includes employers and recruiters, who regularly check out social media accounts to make a judgement call on a job candidate.
Anything as inane as complaining about a late pizza delivery could potentially see you out of contention for a job. The reality is your private life is not private if you have social media accounts. Most job seekers don’t realise this. Facebook has removed the highest tier of privacy settings and they did this without warning or control.
Now if you go to Privacy Settings and Tools, you want to make sure that search engines outside of Facebook can’t link to your profile. But that still does not stop people from viewing your posts, so be warned.
Your social media account can kill your career, unless you are very careful about what you post.