1. Failing to proofread your CV or cover letter
This is your first chance to shine. Don’t spoil it with typos, and ask someone else to read it before sending.
2. Misunderstanding the role
Job ads can be crammed with jargon – research the role carefully to check you fit the bill.
3. Unprofessional social media profiles
Most employers now check social media profiles, so make sure your privacy settings keep last weekend’s party pictures hidden.
4. Neglecting your network
Stay in touch with former teachers and colleagues – you never know who could help with a reference or heads-up on a potential job.
5. Taking rejection to heart
You probably won’t be successful with every application, but don’t be disheartened. Ask for feedback and put it to work in the next one.
6. Trying to wing it at interviews
The internet lets you research companies at the touch of a button, so you have no excuse for not understanding the role or business at interview.
7. Being too familiar
Following up after an interview is good practice, but being pushy and over-familiar isn’t. Think more ‘distant relative’ and less ‘best friend’ when communicating with potential employers.
8. Applying for advertised jobs only
Just because a job isn’t listed, doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities. If you really want to work for a company, approach them directly to make your case.
9. Being afraid to stand out
Think of new ways to get noticed. I know of someone who got their dream job by turning her CV into a Vine!
10. Being afraid to ask for help
There are lots of resources available to help you with your job search. Family, friends, teachers – and LifeSkills of course.
More on this topic from LifeSkills
Writing your CV
Understanding job ads
Preparing for an interview
Sell yourself lesson
Finding employment lesson
CV skills lesson
Interview success lesson for 14–16 year-olds
Interview success lesson for 16–19 year-olds