The Biggest Mistake You Can Make When Applying for a Job
As a jobseeker today, there are many unique ways to position yourself as a good candidate and stand out to employers – for instance, carefully curating your social media pages, creating an online resume, or attending industry networking events. And it’s true that utilizing these and other methods is a key part of being a successful jobseeker. Still, some people completely overlook one of the most important (yet simple) strategies for finding and landing their dream position – researching the company.
Take a look below for five reasons why failing to research a company before applying could be the biggest mistake of your job search.
- How to position your qualifications
You likely have a nice variety of skills and positive personality traits, but knowing which ones to focus on in your application or during an interview can give you a leg up against the competition. Look for this information by searching for LinkedIn profiles of other company employees or reviewing the qualifications needed for their other open positions.
- Customization opportunities
Research can help you determine who to address your email and cover letter to. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search feature to identify the hiring manager of a specific role. You may also be able to find this information by running a Google search, looking through the company website, or simply picking up the phone and calling. A hiring manager will notice (and probably be impressed) that you took the time to address the letter to him/her instead of using a generic, “to whom it may concern.”
- Company connections
Those who fail to research before sending off a resume miss out on the possibility of finding a connection at the company. Your research may reveal that you went to school with one of the key employees at the company or that the CEO is your best friend’s uncle. Finding a connection can be a huge advantage for your job search— especially here in Hawaii where many business decisions are based on relationships.
- Get a feel for the work culture
Let’s face it—even if you’re desperate for a job, no one wants to work somewhere they hate. Searching for and applying to positions takes a lot of time, so don’t waste your energy on a role/company that you won’t like or mesh with. By researching the company, you’ll be able to get a feel for whether or not they promote a work environment and culture that you would like to be a part of. This “fit” will be very important to both you and the company.
- Interview talking points
Before meeting with company representatives, take a moment to catch up on any company news or trends. Visit their website or social media pages to find interesting talking points that you can reference, if need be, during your interview. Of course, make sure you don’t botch your interview by spouting off dozens of company facts, but this information can come in handy when answering certain question or for initiating small talk before the interview.