Doing everything right doesn’t guarantee you a coveted job. Sometimes what you aren’t doing could be responsible for ruining your chance of being hired. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
Are you making any of these of these career mistakes?
1. Not Googling yourself
It’s no secret potential employers do Google searches before interviewing a job candidate, yet many people skip the necessary step of finding out what search engines say about them. Research prevents you from looking unprepared if an interviewer references something they found online.
If you’re looking for a job, monitor your online presence. Whether the search yields positive results that make you look professional or YouTube karaoke videos that make you question your choice in both songs and friends, it’s important you know what’s out there.
If you’re job searching outside your city, try changing the search engine location to the city where you’re applying for jobs for more targeted results.
2. Not fixing your online reputation
Let’s say you Googled your name and didn’t like what you saw. Or maybe the first few results were other people who share your name, and you want that coveted first spot. What now?
It isn’t enough to simply know what potential employers see when they search for you. Controlling your online reputation takes work, but it’s worth the effort.
Use search engine optimization (SEO) practices to boost the rankings for your name. Simple SEO strategies can point potential employers in the right direction and boost your resume at the same time.
Monitoring your social media is a must, but taking these extra SEO steps can help you be proactive about your personal branding.
3. Not scouting out the location beforehand
Location is important for job searching and overall career fulfillment. Before driving to an interview, scout out the location with a practice run or online search. Being late can make a bad first impression, but rushing is also dangerous.
Your nerves may be all over the place on the day of the interview, so familiarize yourself with where you’re going. And drive carefully. You don’t want to get in an accident on your way.
Before taking a job in a new location, think through every element. A longer commute might not be a big deal to some, but it could be a total deal breaker for others. Factor in your personal preferences before deciding.
4. Not doing enough research
A quick glance at the company website isn’t likely to impress an employer. Before interviewing, do real research about the company, the interviewer and the industry.
Social media profiles, for the company or the interviewer, can give you a glimpse into company culture. Having a good idea of how the company brands itself, its notable achievements and pertinent industry news will give you plenty to talk (and ask) about in the interview.
5. Not asking enough questions
Nothing says “uninterested” like getting to the end of a job interview and not asking any questions. How can you prove you want a job if you don’t have a single question about the position or company?
Even if many of your questions were answered during the course of the conversation, you should still have some additional inquiries.
Come prepared with a list of potential questions. Having them ready beforehand can help if the excitement of the interview causes you to momentarily blank.
6. Not taking notes
Politely asking at the beginning of the interview if you can take notes can showcase your organization and drive.
You don’t have to write down every last word, but jotting a few notes after an interviewer answers one of your questions can be immensely helpful. Not only does it show your interest; it can also help you retain key knowledge from the interview after the adrenaline wears off.
7. Not sending a handwritten “thank you”
Your interview notes will come in handy when composing a handwritten thank you note. Sure, you could send an email, but writing is more personal.
You want to be memorable. Emails can get lost in the shuffle, but a well-worded card or note can leave a longer-lasting impression — and hopefully lead to a job offer.
Erin Palmer is a digital content specialist, proud member of GenY and huge fan of handwritten notes. She’s been published in The Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post, yet she still gets excited every time she sees her byline. Interaction with readers makes her day, so reach out to her on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.