Whether you’re preparing for life after college, recovering from a job loss or just feel ready to try something new, it never hurts to brush up on your job-search skills. Here are a few mistakes you could be making without even knowing it.
5 big mistakes to avoid when searching for a job
1. Not knowing what you want
Too often, people don’t put enough thought into a whether job is the right fit for them, Samantha Zupan, spokesperson for Glassdoor.com, a job search and recruiting site, said. “They don’t take that moment of pause to go, ‘I need this much in terms of compensation, these benefits and this kind of environment,’” she said.
Beyond that, it’s key to know what you’re looking for in terms of the role and professional challenges. If you don’t, you may find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation.
2. Not doing your homework
Some people walk into interviews without taking the time to bone up on the company beforehand, Zupan said. “Not only should you look for jobs but research the company culture, leadership, CEO and what they could likely earn,” she said. After all, you’re there to decide if the company is right for you, too.
3. Not tailoring your message
“People don’t tailor their approach to each employer,” Zupan says, because they’re desperate to get a call or email back. “But that extra time you take for employers you really want to go after” is what will set you apart and make you a more viable candidate. Ask yourself, “does my resume highlight experience this employer is looking for?” If not, look for ways to play up your passion and skills.
Read more: 9 keys to online resume success
4. Not following up
“If you got a call or email and didn’t follow up, that’s definitely a mistake in the job search,” Zupan said. “Even if you end up not going with that company, you may end up at the company down the road, or that recruiter could go to another company.” So whether you’re interested or not, be sure to let them know. And remember, you should always respond within one business day. Any longer than that, and you risk looking disinterested and like you lack general email etiquette.
5. Appearing unprofessional
Whether you’re applying for the C-Suite or an assistant job, it’s best to keep things professional. “You should always be thinking about your public profiles and make sure they reflect who you are and what you are, because that’s what employees will be looking at,” Zupan said. Do a proper sweep of your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and voicemail, and sanitize them accordingly.
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.