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Get employed in today's hot job market

McLEAN, Va. (1/20/15)--2014 was a great year to land a job. Employers in the United States advertised more job openings last year than they had in the past 14 years, according to the Labor Department (USA Today Jan. 13).
This increase suggests that businesses are confident that strong economic growth will continue and that there will be increased demand for products and services. To remain competitive, employers might offer higher pay to attract qualified applicants.
If you're a job seeker, don't make these mistakes on your resume, during the interview and when you're following up (College USA Today Jan. 16):
  • Typos. A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos. Read your resume out loud to yourself and then have someone else read it. Typos can indicate laziness. It may seem trivial, but a typo could cost you the job if it's between you and another just-as-qualified candidate;
  • Pretty white lies. Don't think prospective employers won't follow up on what's on your resume--they will, and often during the interview. Even if there's a skill you "want" to learn more about, telling an employer you already have that skill doesn't work;
  • Not tailoring your resume. Don't submit the same resume and cover letter for every job you apply for. Take the time to tailor these items to demonstrate that you're the best hire;
  • Writing a novel. It might be hard to narrow your abilities and past experience, but employers want highlights of what's compelling about you. Of course you'll list important attributes, but save details for the interview;
  • Using the wrong company name. Take an extra peek to be positive that you're sending the right cover letter to the right company. Saving a separate document for each cover letter may help instead of just replacing the company name each time you create a letter;
  • Repeating your resume on your cover letter. Employers will read your resume. Your cover letter should be a quick overview of why you're applying for the job and why you're the best candidate;
  • Talking negatively about former employers. Doing this only will make the interviewer think you'll do it again--when you're leaving this company. Have some class and remain neutral or positive about previous jobs, especially when you're asked why you're leaving a position; and
  • Following up on social media. This can seem impersonal and lazy. Develop a well-written email soon after the interview, and for extra kudos send a hand-written note.
For related information, read the Turning Point "Get Back in the Game After Losing a Job" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

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