Job Hunting Tips

10 Job Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

There is an old saying in the recruitment industry, “It’s not the best person who gets the job, it’s the best prepared person”. At GetReskilled, we see a lot of extremely qualified, smart and capable people struggling to take the right steps and wasting precious time trying to make progress with their job search. To help you avoid some common mistakes, we’ve gathered together some great online resources.

Won’t many of the mistakes be rather obvious?

For experienced job hunters, yes. However, we have found that they are far from obvious to someone who has been out of the job search process for a while. It is our sincere hope you find the content useful.

1. Starting your job hunt without doing your homework!

So you have been thinking of changing careers? The worst thing you can do is dive straight into applying for jobs. There is really quite a lot to do before you get to that stage; don’t damage your chances before you even get started by rushing into applications.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Check out this LinkedIn article on how to get started. It focuses on creating your LinkedIn profile, but many of the tips are equally applicable to CV writing.
Head on over to our Job Search Resource Centre  for a step by step guide to a career change job hunt.

2. Not having a clear idea of which role you are applying for

Sending out lots of applications and not getting anywhere can be demoralising – whilst it might seem like a good idea to apply for any job you see, spending more time on applying to jobs most suited to you will be more fruitful in the long run. The pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries have a wide variety of roles and positions. For people new to the industry, it can be a challenge to identify relevant job roles to suit your skills and figure out your future career pathway.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Take a look at our Job Roles and Salaries page for an outline of several different manufacturing jobs as well as the duties, careers paths and salaries associated with each.

3. Having a poorly constructed or badly written CV.

First impressions really do last. Your CV is your advert, your window display, your sales pitch – it has to sell you when you aren’t there to sell yourself. A poorly written CV undermines the skills and achievements you’re trying to convey. Put yourself in the position of your potential employer, would you hire someone who couldn’t be bothered to put together a decent CV?

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Here is a link to an article on how to specifically craft your CV for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Medical Device Industry to help you make that all important first impression.
We also recommend you search online for sample CVs for your targeted role – this gives you an idea of the terminology, tone and wording that is most appropriate, try to incorporate that into your CV.

4. Leaving gaps in your work history on your CV.

Lots of people out there have gaps in their work history, and they are often at a loss as to how to best present this to any future employer without casting a shadow over their application. One thing’s for sure, you have to think about how you’ll explain your gaps at interview – if they’re obvious, then it’s something most interviewers will ask about.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Here is a link to an article on how best to deal with those gaps in employment.

5. Using one standard application.

Most hiring managers are extremely busy and will have only a few minutes to look over your CV. You really do need to make an impression in the first few seconds, so the idea of a one size fits all CV is just not going to cut it these days – a standard generic application is very obvious. Your CV is your chance to sell yourself to this particular employer; the things of greatest importance will be different for every application.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
You need to tailor your CV as precisely as possible to each and every role that you apply for. One of the biggest objections to this is the amount of time this can take – a little time-saving technique might be to draft up three CV templates, each one with a different focus within your targeted area. When you come across a relevant position, use the most relevant CV template as a starting point to tailor your application.

6. Submitting a CV that only you have looked over

Apart from the very obvious typos that you may have missed, not having another pair of eyes critically assess your CV is perhaps one of the most common mistakes we come across. The importance and value of having an outside pair of eyes go over your CV really cannot be overstated! Having a friend or mentor do this is a great first step, but even better is to get honest feedback from a professional recruiter or industry specialist in your target industry, he or she will likely see things that you have completely overlooked.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Identify at least three relevant people that you can show your CV to – these need to be people who’ll give you an honest appraisal and won’t just be nice! It can be difficult to ‘put yourself out there’ like this, but it’s better that someone like this spots your mistakes rather than a potential employer!

7. Sending a generic cover letter

Is the cover letter dead? We don’t think so. Having a well-crafted cover letter that complements your CV shows you have taken the time to research the company and aren’t just applying for any job going with one standard application. There are still plenty of companies (particularly those where the person doing the hiring will have to work directly with you) that will take the time to thoroughly read them. It’s important that you put the time and effort into putting a cover letter together that catches their attention and gets your CV read.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Have a look at this article
on crafting the perfect cover letter.

8. Waiting for the perfect job to come to you

It’s often said that many of the best jobs are never advertised. If there’s a role you feel that you have the ideal skill set for or a company where you’d just love to work, rather than waiting for a job to be posted, why not take a more proactive approach to your job hunt taking advantage of that fact.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Build yourself a list of ‘target companies’, do some thorough research and then proactively send in your CV and cover letter or look to make connections. Check out this link to an article from LinkedIn on this. 

9. Not making the most of your network

What network? You’d be surprised! If you can make your intentions about changing career known without harming your current employment then do so – speak to people. Ask for advice for a (completely made up) ‘friend’ if you have to. You might be surprised at the connections you currently have … or the connections they have. Look to expand your network too; have a look at using LinkedIn to connect to people within your industry.

GetReskilled Top Tips:
Here is a 
link to an article on how to find the key decision makers at your target companies.
Start sussing out your current network and their current networks!

10. Thinking you’ve done all the research you can

Chances are, there is always something else you could be researching to give yourself a better shot at a career change. Whether it’s job hunting skills, researching your chosen industry or practicing interview techniques, the internet has endless information for you. Focus on good content from credible resources to utilise your time best.

GetReskilled Top Tips:

Here are links to another couple of LinkedIn resource to help you on your way.

Job Search Fundamentals Part 1

Job Search Fundamentals Part 2 

So now you’re prepared – start job hunting! Remember to our Job Vacancies page where we pull together pharmaceutical and medical device jobs from all over Ireland.

Take care and best of luck with your job hunt!