Common job hunting mistakes

Not articulating your value to the company

You’ve done good things, you know good things, you’re learning good things.  However, communicating your general good-ness to potential employers isn’t a process of osmosis or telepathy.

A would-be Ribit employer recently described his disappointment about receiving the enticing response “Because I fit the criteria” to his question “Why would we hire you?”

Very few potential employers have the time to mentally slot your skills and/or experience into their job criteria. You know best what you have to offer. This means taking a few minutes to think about your skills and assets and explain clearly how they can be leveraged into the advertised role.

All the buzzwords

“I’m motivated, driven and enthusiastic”.

This kind of statement is the job candidate equivalent of camouflage:

Simone Ridgway, Campus Talent Acquisition Manager for Commonwealth Bank recently stated during a panel presentation at UTS’s ‘Ready, Set, Grad’ event that students often feel that “If I use buzzwords, then this will get me places.” She instead advises to “choose a few things that you really believe about yourself and employers will believe it too.”

Vague questions which require long responses

If you’ve got specific questions about the role, it’s great to get in touch and speak with the recruiter or company representative. It might even make them realise that revisions need to be made to  the job description.

Avoid contacting the company for the sake of trying to get noticed. The question “Can you tell me more about the job?” is frustrating and doesn’t offer the recruiter much of a starting point for the response. Are you asking whether the company organises a pyjama day once a year? Or questioning the depth of experience required for a specific skill set?

A potential employer will want to be able to assist you quickly, and not have to spend time trying to second guess what you really need to know.