social network iconsSometimes an unintentional mistake can keep you from a great job opportunity. Here are some tips to help you avoid the common pitfalls many people make when seeking employment.

1. Don’t let your social media tell the wrong story

Employers regularly search the internet to look for more information about job candidates. If the social media content they find seems concerning, they may not move you to the next step.

If an employer searches your name online, what will they find? Will the information (images, social content, etc.) help or hurt you in the job search? As you review your online activities, look at your online presence from an employer’s perspective. 

  • If there’s anything that could be perceived as negative or concerning, consider removing it. 
  • Double-check that all of your social media accounts are set to private. 
  • Be sure anything you are putting out there is a good representation of who you are. This includes email names, social handles, websites, hashtags, photos, etc. 
  • Update your profiles to show your activities and interests. For example, if you are passionate about making change in the world, show how you’re involved in your community with photos, blogs, shared articles, etc.
  • Be active in your field of interest on social media. Especially on LinkedIn, you can post industry-related news, questions, quotes or articles. Follow inspiring people and companies in your field, but avoid connecting with hiring managers unless invited to or until after you are hired by that person.  

2. Adapt your resume to match the job description

Submitting the same resume and cover letter for multiple job applications won’t help you stand out to employers. Tailor your resume and cover letter specifically for each opportunity, even if the jobs seem similar.

After reviewing a job description, take note of the keywords and phrases they use or the skills they are seeking. Your resume will get more traction if you use the same words and phrases. 

3. Proofread

Little mistakes on your resume or cover letter can stand out in a big way. This can influence the employer’s overall perception of you as a candidate. Double-check that the names, job titles and companies on your application materials match the job you are applying for – especially when you’re creating tailored documents for each job application.

Next, get in the habit of proofreading everything. Print and read your resume and cover letter backwards to catch any typos or errors. Then, ask a friend, family member or a career development advisor to proofread them as well. You can never be too careful!

4. Don’t be afraid to go for it

The only sure way of not being considered for a job is to never apply for it. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of great opportunities if we don’t think we meet all the qualifications listed on the job description. If you are attracted to a position and think you can do it well, apply – even if you don’t meet every single item on the list. Most employers will interview candidates if they meet most of their criteria.

Want to learn more? Meet with a career development advisor. Career Services is open for virtual visits over the summer via Zoom, phone or LiveChat on the Career Services website Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about virtual appointments and drop-in hours.