A few years back I received a connection request on LinkedIn from someone I did not know. I’m not a person who gets bothered by this or who turns down random connections. I see LinkedIn as a great tool to expand my network beyond those people I currently know. Some of my best networking and opportunities have come to me via LinkedIn.
Shortly after accepting the request I received a generic email from the person asking me to keep them in mind for open positions at my company. I’m all for helping people network and find a new role but I don’t even know this person or their career goals. It wasn’t a very effective way to conduct a job search – and it could really turn people off.
I know first-hand that job searching is tough but there have got to be some basic ground rules on what NOT TO DO to find your next job. I spoke with my dear friend, recruiting rock star, and Global Head of Sourcing & Employment Brand for SAP, Matthew Jeffery, to get his insights on this topic.
Here are some of the big mistakes that job seekers make:
1. Lie. Be honest during your job search when talking with recruiters, potential employers, and on your resume. Here is what Matthew says about this, “Don’t lie on your resume. However tempting it is to grandiose your achievements, you will get found out. Be it through former colleagues, references, background checks, or whispers in the market. And if your abilities don’t match what you claim your performance to be, you will be quickly seen for what you are. A liar. Dishonorable. A fraudster. So it’s best to be honest. Be truthful. Integrity is a key value for many companies.”
2. Stalk Facebook. Social networking can be a valuable tool for your job search, but keep it on LinkedIn. According to Matthew, “Facebook is a pure social network. The key is the word SOCIAL. Don’t reach out to potential employees and seek to befriend them or send private messages. Nothing is more irksome than career Facebook stalkers.”
3. Be lazy. Blasting a generic resume on big job sites won’t get you very far, same with sending generic blast emails to people who don’t know you. Be specific, know what you are looking for, and be strategic in your networking and targeting potential employers.
Now over to you – what are some of the big mistakes you’ve seen or made during a job search?