10 Common Pieces of Job Advice Too Many People Ignore

Following these tips can help you avoid making key mistakes.
Updated March 10, 2023
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Finding the right job can feel daunting, but following a few key tips can improve your chances of landing a job that helps you to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

So, take a look at the following advice that too many people ignore. Acting on these tips might improve the odds of getting the job you want instead of being passed over for another candidate.

Customize your resume for each job you apply to

drazen/Adobe businesswoman gives her resume

If you apply to several jobs, customizing your resume for each might seem time-consuming. But you will likely only need to make small changes rather than rewriting the entire thing.

Desired skills probably differ for each position, and including irrelevant skills on your resume could cause the reviewer to miss the important ones. Take a few extra minutes for each application. It’s worth it if you want the job.

Use your contacts to learn of opportunities

C Malambo/peopleimages.com/Adobe businessman talking on phone call while writing

Networking and building relationships with other professionals in your industry can lead to referrals and job leads. These colleagues may refer you when a position opens up with their company, for example.

Don’t forget to do the same for them. This will keep relationships strong and increase the willingness of others to help you.

Notify references about your job search

rido/Adobe mature woman talking on phone

Tell your references you are looking for a job and that they should expect to be contacted. This can help them better prepare for the call.

Too many people fail to do this, and that can backfire. You don’t want the reference to be caught by surprise and to have little to say when the call arrives.

By giving your references information about the company and role, they can speak to the strengths and qualifications that apply to the job.

Research your employer before the interview

fizkes/Adobe focused businessman using laptop looking at screen

You want to know as much as possible about the company before your interview. Becoming familiar with the company’s products or services will give you an advantage.

It’s simple to explore the company’s website to gain a better understanding of what it does. You may even have the opportunity to read about the managers you’ll speak with.

Use this knowledge in the interview. Talk about the company and express your understanding of the role.

Dress appropriately for the workplace

zinkevych/Adobe business managers at work

Consider the role before choosing an outfit for your job interview. Too many people do not dress appropriately for their interview.

You want to look professional, but wearing a full suit for a casual interview is a bit much. Perfume or cologne choices can prove just as important as your attire. You never know when a manager is sensitive to strong scents.

Arrive on time

ViDi Studio/Adobe businesswoman wearing formal orange suit checks her watch

This seems like a given, but it is a rule that isn't always followed. Allow enough time to get settled when you arrive so you can begin the interview at the scheduled time.

In fact, give yourself a little extra time in case you run into issues. This is true for virtual interviews too. Technical difficulties can cause tardiness, so start the process early and test your device beforehand.

Make eye contact

djile/Adobe man in a job interview

Making eye contact with your interviewer shows them you are listening and engaging in the conversation.

This doesn’t mean staring them in the eyes the entire time. But maintaining eye contact can give your potential employer insight into your demeanor and your level of interest in the job.

Ask good questions

fizkes/Adobe businesswomen sitting in front of each other during business meeting

In many cases, the hiring manager will offer you the opportunity to ask questions. Not asking any questions can hurt your chances of landing the job. On the other hand, asking insightful ones might impress your interviewer.

That is because by asking these types of questions, you show that you’re genuinely interested in the role and want to perform well. It’s a good idea to make a list of questions before attending the interview.

Reach out to current employees to see how they like their job

(JLco) Julia Amaral/Adobe business professionals having a coffee break in an office

Talking to current employees can give you a better idea about the company and if it is a good fit for you. You don’t want to waste your time going through several interviews if it’s not a place you really want to work.

Employees might also have tips and insight that will help you land the job. They know the ins and outs of the role and the company culture, and they understand their superiors' likes and dislikes.

Pro tip: If a job doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to say yes to the offer. That can be true even if you need the money. Instead, consider taking on a part-time job, starting a side hustle or looking for other ways to generate extra cash.

Write ‘thank you’ notes to everyone you talked to

New Africa/Adobe woman with envelope and card writing phrase Thank You

Sending a “thank you” note to everyone you spoke with lets them know you appreciate their time and keeps your name fresh in their minds.

Many people seeking jobs only send thank you notes to their main point of contact or hiring manager. But you may speak with several people in the company who have input on hiring decisions.

Bottom line

muse studio/Adobe young woman holding documents

Following this advice might help you land a better job. Some of these steps take extra time and effort, but many people searching for a new job are likely to find them worthwhile.

The investment you make in these behaviors might put you on a path to boosting your bank account in a career you love.

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Author Details

Katelyn Washington Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.

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