Biggest mistakes you’re making on the job hunt, according to a LinkedIn career expert

Searching for a new job can be a stressful experience, especially when you don’t know where to start. LinkedIn career expert Andrew McCaskill sat down with TheStreet’s J.D. Durkin to dish out some tips for finding a new gig, and highlighted some of the mistakes people make during the job hunting process.

Related: You’re getting LinkedIn all wrong – These are the best ways to stand out and get a job

Full Video Transcript Below:

J.D. DURKIN: Talk to me about pitfalls, mistakes, things you see in this process that people make. Obviously, they’re not trying to make mistakes here, but I’m sure you see people fall into a lot of maybe the same bad habits, either as they build their profiles or they’re out there looking.

ANDREW MCCASKILL: Yeah, one of the things I think people big mistake that people do is they say, I’m going to apply to everything that I see. They spray and they pray. Right? big mistake. You don’t use your energy like that, right? What you want to do is you really want to apply for things that you think that you’re truly qualified for. Make sure that you’re thinking about how could I do a great job at this job? It’ll make you much more confident. 

The other thing is that people will go into the interview process, not having rehearsed. So much of the interview process and the negotiation process is a performance art. You don’t get comfortable talking about money without talking about money, and you don’t want to have that conversation with a recruiter or a hiring manager for the first time. Practice with a mentor, practice with a colleague, practice with a friend so that you get into that interview and it’s just like you and I sitting here having a conversation, easy, breezy.

J.D. DURKIN: A big part of this. And listen, I admit early way early in my career did I learn this the hard way is the importance of always having questions for the person who’s interviewing you for. So what are some of your top tips for landing a new job? 

ANDREW MCASKILL: Number one is really focus. I think that we’ve gotten into this habit of where people are just sort of sending out tons of applications, and it’s really frustrating to get all of those nos instead of sitting out 50 do 5 and be really strategic about those five. One of the things that you can do on the LinkedIn platform is set your preferences. If you know 401k matching is really important to you. If work life balance is really important to you, if it’s a certain salary is really important to you or geography is important to you, set that up in your jobs preferences and every time a job comes up on the platform, you’ll get that job highlighted to you and then respond really quickly. One of the things that’s important is to respond to recruiters early. 

If you’re responsive to a recruiter, a recruiter will be responsive back to you. That’s typically how it goes. Because the other thing about that, yeah, early bird gets the worm, but be ready when that recruiter hits you back. You should already know who your references are going to be and why they’re your references and let your references know what you want them to make sure they hit on when they do talk to you, to the recruiter. All of those things are really important. 

The other thing I would say is know what it is that you really want. It’ll help you make a better decision about which jobs you go after because your skills are going to be really, really important for you to highlight. They’re highly transferable to other industries, but know what you want and then be a little bit open to the adventure because there may be some opportunities at companies you would never think of normally, or maybe even in a geography that you hadn’t thought about, where it could be remote or could be in another city that you think huh, maybe.

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