The job seeker’s path is rarely an easy one. Are you ready to make 2018 your year to get hired at a great job? Now is the perfect time to review your efforts to date, and create a new job search strategy that will deliver results.

These tips will help you avoid the biggest job search mistakes today’s candidates make, land more interviews, and make a great impression on potential employers.

Look back at 2017

If you’ve been looking for a job in 2017, take some time to review what you did, what seemed to help, and what hindered your search. Were you wasting a lot of time on activities that yielded little results, such as scouring online job postings? Did you cast a wide net — but not too wide? Did you study and prepare for interviews on a case-by-case basis, armed with specific information about the companies you interviewed with?

Compare your actual strategy to best practices for job searching in 2018, and look for areas that you can improve this year.

Don’t head out alone

The path of the job seeker doesn’t have to be a solo journey — and it shouldn’t be. For 2018, create a team of friends, co-workers, and experts who can help you with the many tasks your job search entails: going over your resume, preparing for interviews, looking out for openings, and providing valuable referrals that deliver an increased chance of success.

One of the best ways to power your job search is working with a staffing agency. Recruiters and staffing agencies provide all of the resources and assistance you need for your job search in one place: resume review, interview tips and practice, notifications of relevant job openings, and referrals that are highly valued by the employers they work with.

Avoid the No. 1 job search mistake

What’s the biggest mistake job candidates make? It may surprise you to learn that it’s not failing to do enough research, making a bad impression at job interviews, or forgetting to follow up — it’s poor spelling and grammar. The biggest mistake job seekers make is still the one that’s most easily prevented.

When you take the time to ensure that your application materials are flawless and letter-perfect, you’re showing employers that you pay attention to detail, and you care about the work that you do. You’re also elevating yourself above other candidates who continue to submit sloppy, error-riddled materials.

Get organized for 2018

Many job searches fail due to a lack of organization on the part of the candidate. If you’re still relying on sticky notes and mental reminders to track all of the details of your job search, you’re going to miss something crucial — if you haven’t already.

There are practically as many ways to organize a job search as there are people looking for a job. Choose a system that works best for you, and stick to it. You might use a physical system such as a job notebook, an electronic system like a spreadsheet tracker, or a mobile system such as a job search app.

Whatever system you use, make sure you have a way to track things like:

  • Jobs you’ve applied to
  • When you sent the application
  • Name / contact information for the contact person
  • Interviews scheduled / completed
  • Follow-ups sent

Boost your interview preparation

After all the hard work you put in to score interviews, you need to put forth your best efforts into nailing those interviews — since you won’t get a second chance. This means being prepared to not only answer common interview questions smoothly, but also relate your experience and skills specifically to the company you’re interviewing with.

Thorough interview preparation shows the interviewer that you’re not looking for any job — you’re looking for this job in particular. These are the types of candidates who get hired. If you’re working with a staffing agency, your recruiter will be able to help you prepare for interviews that are geared toward individual employers, and pass with flying colors.

Network, network, network

Referrals are the number one way employers hire job candidates. Recent statistics indicate that anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of new hires come through referrals — including those from current employees, recruiters, and staffing agencies. Being referred for a job automatically makes you stand out above other candidates.

The more referrals you can score, the better your chances of becoming happily employed. Working with a staffing agency makes the referral process easy, since you receive a referral from a trusted source with every position you apply for.

Strategic IT Staffing is always available to help and guide you along your job search. Contact us to see how we can help you move your career ahead, and here’s to your successful job search in 2018!

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