Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn to focus on targeted applications rather than casting a wide net.
  • Next you’ll learn that you need to pay attention to your digital footprint.
  • Finally, you’ll learn to embrace networking as a crucial part of your job search strategy

I was working with a PhD last week who needed to get hired fast. And they did everything on their resume right. 2 pages. Right font. Right margins. A one to one ratio of transferable and niche skills and quantified results in every bullet point. They were targeting their resume too. But, as I found out, that was it.

They barely updated their LinkedIn profile. They weren’t networking at all. And the one interview they had they bombed even though they said it felt like it “went really well”. All of those missteps were keeping them from getting hired quickly.  Avoiding certain missteps can dramatically improve your chances of making a positive impression and landing a job.

Here’s a rundown of key mistakes to steer clear of during your job search: One common mistake job seekers make is casting too wide a net. While it might seem counterintuitive, applying for every job you come across can actually slow you down. Employers can typically tell when a candidate has submitted a generic application. Instead, tailor your search and applications to positions that match your skills and experiences.

A second mistake is Neglecting Your Online Persona, or digital footprint. In the digital age, employers often conduct a quick internet search on candidates. An unprofessional online persona can deter potential employers. Before you begin your job search, clean up your social media profiles and make sure any public content presents you in a professional light.

Third, you can’t Underestimate the power of a strong Cover Letter. Skipping the cover letter or writing a generic one is a missed opportunity. A well-crafted cover letter that speaks to the specifics of the job can catch an employer’s attention. It’s your chance to make a personal connection and highlight why you are a perfect fit for the role.

Fourth, you’ll struggle to get hired fast if you Fail to Customize Your Resume. Sending out the same resume for every job is a frequent mistake. Tailoring your resume for each position by highlighting the most relevant skills and experience can significantly boost your chances. Use keywords from the job description to pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and catch the hiring manager’s eye.

A fifth mistake is Ignoring Instructions. Not following application instructions can lead to your resume ending up in the rejection pile. Whether it’s submitting documents in a certain format or including specific information, adhering to the guidelines shows attention to detail and a willingness to follow directions.

Sixth, avoid a “good enough” Interview Preparation strategy. Arriving at an interview without proper preparation is a critical error. Research the company, understand the role, and prepare to discuss your background and how it relates to the job. Practice answering common interview questions, and have a few questions ready for your interviewers.

A seventh mistake is Neglecting to Follow Up. Failing to follow up after an interview or application can imply a lack of interest. A brief thank-you email reiterating your interest can keep you on the employer’s radar and demonstrate your professionalism.

An eighth mistake is Rejecting the Idea of Networking. Yes, rejecting the idea. As in, thinking you rarely have to do it, or that it’s a nice to have and not a must have. Relying solely on job postings is not enough. Networking can be a powerful tool in your job search. Engage with professional groups, attend industry events, and reach out to contacts. Sometimes jobs are filled through connections before they are ever advertised.

Ninth, you can’t get hired swiftly if you display a Negative Attitude. During interviews, how you say things can be as important as what you say. Negative comments about past employers or colleagues can be a red flag for interviewers. Maintain a positive demeanor and focus on how past experiences have prepared you for the opportunity at hand.

Tenth, avoid the mistake of Overlooking the Importance of Soft Skills. Employers aren’t just looking for PhDs with technical abilities; they value soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Demonstrate these traits in your interactions and be prepared to provide examples of them in your interviews.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can streamline your job search and present yourself as a strong, thoughtful candidate, thereby increasing your chances of getting hired quickly.

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