In the recruitment industry, the summer period is closely linked to new graduates who seek to enter the labor market after many years spent on school benches. Some of them already have professional experience, since they held student jobs; while others have chosen to devote 100% of their time to their studies, preferring to gain experience after graduation. However, in both cases they will face challenges when it comes to seeking employment.

Are you young, motivated and eager to start a successful career? Here are 5 mistakes to avoid in order to maximize your chances of success:

Generic Documents

It has happened to me: letters of introduction sent to a name other than mine or addressed to another company. It is imperative to be very careful when using the same document for all your applications. An error of this type can cost you the dream job. The same goes for resumes, which are usually an exhaustive list of completed courses, accredited degrees as well as student jobs or completed internships. Career Expert Liz Ryan says: “use this opportunity to make a stronger statement about what you want to do with your adult life.” Therefore, it is the reflection of your skills and competences that should be on this list. But how do you standardize such model, with requirements that varies according to the job as well as the corporate culture? It thus becomes impossible, even harmful, to use a generic document without adapting it first, accordingly to each opportunity.

Unrealistic expectations

This common mistake seems to be fueled by the school environment that, throughout your studies, gives you a preconceived idea of ​​what your reality should be on the job market. Warning! I am not saying that everything is false, but rather, that this practice predisposes you to have certain expectations (salary, titles, work conditions and others), which are not always aligned with the fast evolution of the labor market. According to Jay Block, author of 101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times, younger job seekers often haven’t thought about what they have to offer an employer, as opposed to what they want to get from one. With this mindset, focus your efforts on seeking your first job, rather than the perfect job. It is by starting somewhere that you will acquire the necessary experience for your career advancement.

Misuse of the Internet and Social Media

Social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are not job search engines. Using LinkedIn or some websites like Workopolis, Jobboom and Monster may seem less interesting but will definitely be more productive. Another aspect that you need to consider, with regards to social media, is the image that you project on these. Although they are used for personal purposes, there are no rules that prohibit an employer from going to see the content that you put online. It is therefore recommended to eliminate anything that might be badly perceived on your accounts before you start sending your resume.

Lack of proactivity

The latest generations are born in the air of advanced technology. This makes everything possible by a simple “click”, but this ease of remote access sometimes affects the proactivity of young candidates. Once your web application is sent, do not just wait for an answer behind your computer screen. Making rigorous follow-up is still the best way to demonstrate a sustained interest in the position. I also advise you to start looking for your career opportunity before the end of your studies. You do not know what challenges you will encounter along the way and you may have to do extra training (such as additional courses, specific certifications, licenses) to meet certain job requirements. In addition, investing time on building a professional network, while you are at school, will be of great help when the time comes to look for work.

Defective professionalism

Put out in the big game, you’re scrutinized with a magnifying glass! Besides your social media accounts, there are other details that will be observed during the process. At all costs, avoid familiar language and shortcuts or “slang” to express your ideas. A clear communication, with a rich vocabulary as well as the use of courtesies formulas is preferable. For the face-to-face interview, appropriate clothing is essential, even if it is not explicitly required. To help you make the right choices, the author Mollye Taylor gives excellent tips in this article: presentation is everything- 8 tips to dress for your successful job interview.

Finally, poor preparation for the interview may also reflect a lack of professionalism. Just as you did extensive researches for your school works, do your homework with regards to the companies you are going to meet. The distinction between a prepared and an unprepared candidate, is always visible during the Interview!

In order to maximize your chances of getting a job, do not hesitate to use all the resources at your disposal. Most educational institutions have a job search assistance department and the government also offers local and national services, at no charges. For their share, large companies and recruiting firms generally have websites offering the opportunity to join their community of practice, as for People Corner. This gives you access to a tons of information and advices, related with your industry, and make your profile visible for headhunters like me!

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