The Number 1 Mistake Job-Seekers Make
Is this error preventing you from getting a job? Here are 7 ways to tell.
Here at Care.com, we see caregivers making the same errors over and over when they're trying to find a job. But what is the #1 mistake job-seekers make? Not reading the job description!
If you're not getting a response to your applications, this may be the culprit. Job experts Lindsey Pollak and Lisa Adams provide seven warning signs you might be making this mistake when it comes to your job search.
You Ask Basic Questions
When you apply to a job, do you ask questions like: how many kids do you have, how long are the hours or when does the job start? These basic questions are almost always answered in the job description. While asking follow up questions for more detail is perfectly fine, asking something that is already mentioned shows you didn't take the time to read the job ad. When potential employers receive applications like this, they may just delete them.
You Make Simple Mistakes
Addressing your message to the wrong name can be the kiss of death in a job search. Double-check the name in the job ad with the name you wrote.
You Only Read the Parts Relevant to You
Employers often have a long wish list of characteristics they'd like their next employee to embody, and they'll usually include that list in their job description. Remember that it's important to read the job description carefully. While you may not be able to check off every single qualification, don't let that deter you from applying.
On the flip side, if an employer lists 10 must-have qualifications and you meet none or only one or two of them, this may not be the best fit and you may be wasting your time applying.
You Don't Mention Your Challenges
Adams suggests that you address any traits or skills listed you don't necessarily have. Let the employer know you recognize you don't have every last one of those qualifications, but you are willing to learn -- and the skills you do already have are far superior to any potential challenges.
Your Cover Letter Is Too General
Are you using the same response for every application? Changing the employer's name doesn't mean you're all set. Each job is different and requires you to read the job description and edit your materials. Talk about the specific job qualifications mentioned in the job ad and how you fit them.
You Don't Answer Questions
Some potential employers ask questions in a job description. A family may want to know about your favorite activities for two-year-olds. They use these responses to narrow down candidates. If you don't provide an answer, they may discount you completely.
You Don't Look at the Benefits
Pollak, author of "Getting from College to Career," says one of the biggest mistakes job-seekers make when rushing through the job description is they don't look at the full benefits, which count as part of your total compensation. Does the application mention things like holiday pay, overtime, health insurance or even room and board? Is the employer interested in paying you legally with employment taxes and all the government benefits that accompany that? You may pass on a job that has a low hourly rate, not realizing that the additional benefits are great.
So remember, the job description is the first thing you should look at and the last thing you should review before sending your application to a family or company.
Want more help? Check out the 10 Most Common Mistakes Made on Care.com »
Jennifer Eberhart is a freelance writer based in New York City.