If there’s anything stronger than your resume to secure an interview call, it is your cover letter that creates an impression on the minds of the employer. A brilliant resume might showcase to your future employer, that you possess the required educational background and promising potential. However the truth is a resume in itself is not enough.

Among other equally qualified and talented candidates, why should the company choose you instead? What could make them believe that you are the best fit for the job role? Relax! A well-written cover letter is the answer to these questions.

If the process of job searching can be pictured literally to draw comparisons with ‘hunting’ experience, then you do need resilient weapons to bring the game home. If a resume can be said to be an arrow, then cover letter is the bow that will help the arrow to hit the target right.

This creative example applies in job seeking too, wherein a cover letter is meant to complement the resume. But can’t you just rely on a resume? Not all of it. It’s important to remember that, the arrow released from the bow will work more effectively than those arrows that are thrown away with empty hands.

Going by the parable, we can say that cover letter is a complementary tool to confirm and empower what’s being stated in the resume. It is an efficient way to demonstrate your skills and experiences. Therefore, the writing process of a cover letter should not be taken lightly.

In just a few paragraphs, you should be able to explain your qualifications and experiences in the right professional tone and retain the hiring manager’s attention to be thereafter called for an interview. No wonder, writing a perfect cover letter requires extra efforts and commitment.

Then the real question is, how should you write a compelling and meaningful cover letter, instead of a cliché one? To help you stay off the damaging cover letter pitfalls, here are 9 things you should never state:

  1.       Wrong or false information

Well, this might be obvious. But actually, to find candidates telling lies in their resume is not something uncommon. Don’t risk your reputation by putting wrong or false information in the cover letter as well. Always pay attention to minute details, usage of words and phrases, and double check if you have written the name, address, job title, and other information correctly.

  1.       Spelling or grammatical errors

Your friend might just shrug his shoulder when you make typos during a friendly chat. However, if such typo errors are found in your cover letter, it will impact your chances of getting called for an interview, not sure if hired later either. Therefore, after penning down your cover letter, check for  grammatical and spelling mistakes or punctuation errors. To avoid making silly mistakes, you can perhaps ask your friend to proofread the cover letter as well.

  1.       Cliché language

There are hundreds of resumes and cover letters piling up on employer’s desk everyday for a certain job role. If you bore them in your cover letter using cliché and generic language, then you fail to position yourself differently and unique than anyone else. This could make the recruiter to simply lose interest in your candidature. Therefore, showcase your efforts by crafting the cover letter carefully to eliminate usage of cliché phrases, and by replacing them with unique expressions that reflect your true personality.

  1.       Revealing your weaknesses

A cover letter is all about telling what you can offer, if selected for the position. So, do not mention any skills and qualifications that you do not possess at this point in time, because it will only reveal your weaknesses instead. Focus on how you can make most of this opportunity to retain the hiring manager’s attention, impress the potential employer with your skills and knowledge to be shortlisted and called for interview rounds.

  1.       Negative remarks

Maybe you left your last job in awkward situations and not really amicable terms with your past employer. However, this does not mean that you can talk negatively about them, criticise or badmouth the former organisation. Such attitude is not only unethical, but your potential employer could also perceive it as a sign of attitude or performance issues.

  1.       Personal information

Cover letter is about you on what you can offer to the company and how. Therefore, it is crucial to always appear professional in a cover letter. You should not mention any personal information that has nothing to do with the job or the company. If you want to talk about your personal issues or challenges, you can wait until you get selected for a personal round of interview.

  1.       Overselling yourself

Yes, it is important to emphasise your pluses rather than minuses. But there’s a thin line of difference to be followed as your sell your skills to the future employer – do not sound conceited, egoistic, closed minded or over proud of your achievements. While you need to highlight your accomplishments positively, make sure to not make it sound exaggerated.

  1.       Excessive flattery

Do not sugar-coat your cover letter with excessive praise and flattery, just for the sake of gaining attention. People can easily tell the difference between genuine remarks and the empty sweet talks.

  1.       Talking about salary

While we all know that every hiring process will come down to the money-talk. There is always a time right for discussing salary and compensations later, but not to state the same far ahead of time on your cover letter. This is one big mistake. Unless you are asked to mention and clearly state your salary expectations in the cover letter, you should rather keep such discussions until you are called for a personal interview.

Cover letter can help you unlock doors to the best job opportunity and get your candidature shortlisted for the interview. Going beyond traditional resume, a cover letter allows you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and key selling points. Therefore, craft it right in a good, professional tone to empower your resume, and make the interview feel it’s worth the time and energy invested to meet you in person for an interview.

How far have you put in efforts to get noticed and land a job? Sending out resumes, attending interviews, and visiting job fairs could be the most common answers given by job seekers. Have you ever thought, that beyond all these means of reaching out to your future employers, there are some unconventional (and even unique) ways that will bring you to your dream job?

While the way people conduct hiring process has changed dramatically in the recent few years. However, the principle and process of job hunting hasn’t changed through time. The traditional formula is to search for job openings, apply for them, get interviewed, and if you meet the requirements, you will eventually secure the job.

Nevertheless, more and more people are realising that a stable job which pays off their bills at the end of the month is not enough. More than this, it is crucial to have a fulfilling career that will keep you engaged and committed for personal growth.

In today’s highly competitive era, job seekers are required to employ their creativity in order to stand out from the crowd. Even for the most optimistic individuals, days, weeks, and even months of job hunting to no avail can seem as an intimidating experience. Sometimes, all you need to do is open your mind and think outside the box.

Rather than letting yourself feeling frustrated and discouraged, it is time for you to plan a better job hunting strategy. If you want to land the job of your dreams, here are a few unconventional ideas for you:

  1. Advertise yourself

Advertising yourself in mass media is a great way to let potential employers know about your existence. You will need to demonstrate that you are a highly qualified individual who is keen on pursuing their dream job. You can print out your name, skills, and contact in public ad spaces such as local newspaper, billboard, poster, or online portals.

  1. Don’t trust your resume

You might possess all the competencies required for your dream job. The problem is, dozens of other applicants offer the same thing too. It is true that a resume will be your first weapon to set out on the company’s door. However, relying on your resume in itself is not enough to convince them your qualities.

Creating a portfolio will be helpful to showcase your capabilities as well as describe what you have achieved in the past.

  1. Apply for unlisted jobs

Have you ever found ‘candy taster job’ advertisement? While everyone will fancy the idea of getting paid for tasting delicious candies every day, chances are, such job ads can be hardly found. If you want to land on cool and extra-ordinary job like this, you should start applying for unlisted jobs. Remember, not all type of jobs are publicly advertised. Hence, it is time to be proactive.

  1. Go blogging

If you think that writing a blog is a great way to pass time, then perhaps you should re-think the idea. Going blogging is not only a great way to invest your spare time, but also can help you connect with your future employer.

To keep engaged with the blog, you should write on something that you like. When you have set up a blog, avoid radio silent and keep it updated. You might never know who will show up with a prospective job offer.

  1. Make a video resume

Amidst the competition for job, a written resume is no longer enough. To get noticed by top organisations, you need to get creative. Creating a personalised video resume can help you realise this goal. You don’t have to make it complicated. Instead, you can create a brief but attractive video resume that enlists your key strengths and previous experiences.

  1. Volunteer yourself

Volunteering yourself to work for free on projects could be an unconventional approach that will help you to eventually land the job of your dreams. To prove yourself to potential employers, you can participate actively in voluntary or freelance project that is related to your field of expertise.

Don’t focus primarily on how to make money out of the job. Rather, you should focus on how the experience will enrich your soul. Not to mention, volunteering is an effective way to build networking.

Everyone else might have equal skills and qualifications that you possess. However, unless you have something distinctive to offer, sending out resumes and cover letters will not guarantee you your dream job. Therefore, a dash of creativity is the key to grab employer’s attention. Let your creativity shine and soon you will fetch a dream offer your way, by treading the unconventional route to success. Sometimes looking beyond is the key to tap into bright future prospects.

Next read: Tips to Transform Your Hobbies to a Winning Career for Life

Are you active on social media platforms? How do you manage your social media accounts? How often do you monitor your postings and home page? When was the last time you updated your information? Chances are, most fresh graduates today have at least one social media account online.

Be careful on the path to harnessing social media reach and networking with new people. Use of social media has its share of downsides as well. Social media today, is no longer merely used to connect with the world at large. If you are not vigilant enough in filtering through your social media posts, it could perhaps cost you a missed job opportunity.

Candidate’s social media ‘cleanness’ increasingly becomes one of the major consideration for employers as well. Jobvite survey notes that 92 percent employers use social media as a part of their hiring strategy.

Based on the latest Careerbuilder survey in 2016, 60 percent employers use social networking sites to research whether the candidates are professionally fit for the job role or not. Meanwhile, previous Careerbuilder survey in 2013 found 43 percent hiring managers stated that they do not hire a candidate due to the information they found on the candidate’s social media account.

As pointed out by the survey, there are several social media channels that might cost your candidacy, such as provocative or inappropriate photos (50 percent), drinking or using drugs (48 percent), and bad-mouthed previous employer (33 percent).

On the other hand, social media might improve your candidacy as well, as long as you convey a professional image (57 percent), showcase good personality (50 percent), and demonstrate a wide range of interests (50 percent). If you are a fresh graduate seeking to improve employment opportunity during the job search, you should pay attention to these social media dos and don’ts:

Dos

Google your name. Type your name on the search engine and see what it gives you. If the results give you negative pieces of content that originate from social media accounts, you should trace down the roots and fix them right away. This way, you can keep your personal brand clean and appealing.

Be consistent. Consistency is crucial for your personal brand. Your online information on social media should be in line with the ones you write in your resume. So, you have to double check if you have provided consistent name, education, work experience, and other personal information.

Clean up your profile. Make sure that your profile picture represents your professional side, especially on LinkedIn. If you intend to create a good impression for future employers, you should change your physically-flaunting pictures with more proper and casual ones. Not only your current posts, should you also take down all tactless posts from the past.

Pay attention to details. Your friends or followers might not make a big deal when you mistakenly spell ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. However, your future employer will. Therefore, make sure that you pay attention to details and avoid ambiguity in your posts.

Be social. It is social media, after all. You should make your online presence counted by joining and actively participating in groups related to your fields of expertise. Interact with people from the same network, you will gain deeper insights about the professional world and perhaps even find a new job opportunity.

DON’T

Be offensive. Refrain your emotions from publishing offensive comments or status updates on your social media accounts. When you want to get ahead in your career, it is important to keep your professionalism by circumventing such profanity.

Complain about previous employers. Not only unethical, complaining and bad-mouthing your previous employers will only leave negative impression about you.

Spread negative issues. Hoax and provocative news are easily spread over the internet. Don’t sacrifice your integrity by sharing such news on your social media accounts. Before posting and sharing sensitive issues, do research to find out the truth first.

Post inappropriate photos and videos. Think twice before you post anything online. Because once posted, you never know the effects they could bring in the future. Hence, never post questionable photos and inappropriate videos that can ruin your credibility.

Tell lies. This might be obvious, but many fresh grads fall for this mistake nonetheless. While it is important to keep your profile attractive with relevant qualification mentions, do not over exaggerate your achievements as you will only end up telling lies.

When it comes to social media, there are always two sides to the same coin. While social media can help boost your employment opportunity, if you let your guard down, then social media could impact your personal branding to affect any incoming job offers in the near and long term as well.

Next read: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

Whether you are a fresh graduate or a professional seeking for better opportunity, job hunting can prove to be a daunting experience. However, technological advancements have made the process easier through time. But with greater access to the internet, there comes up a new dilemma on: how do you find the right apps to secure your dream job, right at your fingertips on mobile devices?

Technology and Internet has been much of game-changer in how people conduct the job hunting process. The ages when you had to rake through newspapers searching for job ads is over. Today, it is no longer necessary to seek job openings and apply from your laptop or PC with vast array of mobile apps available to make the job hunting process much simpler, easy and on the go.

Rapid growth of job sites extending their service reach to mobile platforms has enabled job seekers to always stay connected with the job market, on the move. Using mobile apps, jobseekers enjoy the comfort of getting notified about the latest job openings in real-time on their Smartphone.

Within myriads of job search apps available across the Internet, it is important to find the right app that is worth your time. Thus, you have to look for apps that have the best niche jobs that match your qualifications. If you cannot decide on the apps that should be installed in your Smartphone, then we compile the top 10 user-friendly job search apps for you here:

  1.    LinkedIn Job Search

When it comes to social media for professional networking, LinkedIn naturally comes into mind. Just like the desktop version, LinkedIn app enables you to search for job openings related to your field of expertise and interest.

To narrow down your choices, you can filter jobs based on criteria such as date posted and salary. You can login with your ID (or sign up for a new one) and directly apply for the job that captivates your interest in a single click.  Additionally, the app also offers you job recommendations based on your search history and keywords.

  1.    Indeed

Being one of the most popular job sites in the world, Indeed brings you the largest aggregator app that lets you find jobs from thousands sources. In the app, you can not only type the company’s name and job position, you can also filter the job results based on several criterias such as location, salary, or industry.

Using Indeed app, you can get notifications sent directly to email when new openings are posted within a particular category. Additionally, you can apply in-app or save jobs for later review.

  1.    Jobstreet

Affiliated with big names in the business industry, Jobstreet app is a must-have when you are job hunting. With a user-friendly interface, you can view jobs that meet your expected salary requirements and location. This app lets users to set up notification and personalise job alerts to be delivered to your phone daily. Update your resume on the go, so you can apply instantly for your desired job.

  1.    JobsDB

JobsDB app developer have done their work of creating an interface for seamless mobile job seeking experience. The app enables you to access the shortlisted jobs according to your recent criteria. You can also store several resumes in your account, and select the appropriate resume to apply for the suitable jobs.

  1.    Glassdoor

Being one the most popular job sites in the U.S, Glassdoor app is now available to the world. Besides searching jobs that meet candidate specific requirements, Glassdoor provides you in-depth salary information, company reviews, and also predicted interview questions shared by insiders of the industry.

Never miss any great opportunity by staying connected on the go, saving interesting jobs and applying for them later from your PC.

  1.    Careerbuilder

Now available in 24 countries, Careerbuilder is one of the largest job sites you can find on the Internet. With this app, you can sort out your job search based on location, industry, and company names without any difficulty.

Even better, you do not have to sign up for a new account. All you have to do is upload your CV or resume and directly start your search on the go. Careerbuilder will learn your search history and give you job recommendations.

  1.    Simplyhired

Just like Indeed, Simplyhired is aggregator app that gathers information from various sources such as news sites, company websites, and job boards. This app not just estimates your salary based on industry standards, it also allow you to connect directly with your LinkedIn account and displays job listings for each job search.

  1.    Monster

Just like other job search apps, Monster app enables you to look for job ads and filter them based on your preferences. To use the app, you should login to your account, upload your resume and cover letter, and then you are ready to submit them for your dream jobs. You can discover connections who do have relevant jobs for you.

  1.    Freelancer

As the name suggests, Freelancer should be on your app list, if you are looking for freelance or part time jobs. Using the app, you can discover new projects that match your skills, bid your proposal on the go, and communicate with clients wherever they are.

  1.   Upwork

Never miss a job opportunity by using Upwork app. Available in IoS and Android, you can get customised alerts of job invitation on mobile, can accept the offers directly, and also respond to clients right from the convenience of an app.

Finding the right job app will be a great milestone for your job search process. Not only will this save on time to avoid the hassle of searching your dream job roles, mobile apps do ensure that you get the best job search experience desired.

Next read: Why and How to Stay Up-to-Date with the Job Market?

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Confident people tend to be more cheerful and possess a positive attitude towards their job. They are unafraid to go for advancement opportunities or to go up against new challenges. Unfortunately, as a person continuously receives high praise, admiration from peers and scoring achievements could result in being overconfident.

Having confidence in oneself is an excellent characteristic, but being an overconfident person can jolly bring down your competency at work too!

Are you being overconfident at work? Check the list:

  1. There’s little or no self-criticism

Overconfident people tend to have a lower level of self-criticism or perhaps even none at all as they feel that tasks performed by them are to perfection. They are convinced that there are no possible improvements to be made and often do not accept criticisms from others.

  1. Conflicts

Conflicts amongst co-workers resulting in a hostile working environment could happen when overconfident people comes into the picture. Co-workers commonly have a basic form of respect towards each other but overconfident people tend to give more criticisms to others’ work (remember, they often do not accept criticisms from others) and belittles their peers’ opinions or ideas other than their own.

  1. Sub-Quality & Frequent Mistakes

Mistakes or sub-quality work often happen as such overconfident workers are less meticulous in their tasks as they feel their work are beyond rebuke. Thus, it is often they forgot to double-check their work or even seek the opinion of another to see if there is any room for improvements.

Also, as such people tend to focus more on important projects while leaving those they feel are unimportant or easily completed tasks to the side. By belittling such tasks and leaving it till the end, one could lose the focus and chances of errors occurring increases.

Having recurring mistakes or handing in sub-par work, clearly isn’t good for your future career progression!

  1. Showing Arrogance

Another consequence of being an overconfident person at work is that it can turn you into being arrogant. Arrogance in a workplace creates negativity and discomfort amongst co-workers, resulting in a disrupted work environment.

Why? As arrogant people seldom or not at all, listen to the views of others as they feel that they already know everything or that their ideas are better than the rest.

Remember, being confident is good. But being overconfident could substantially affect your career in time to come. When you do not listen to others’ advice or opinions, you are putting a stopper to your growth within the company or other future potential prospects.

Being successful in your career doesn’t only require a high self-confidence. Instead, other factors like being a team player, showing respect to others, self-development and more, counts.

Keep learning!

Next read: How to Avoid Looking Like a Job Hopper on Your Resume

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An interview is like a trade. You show off your skills, experiences and proficiencies, ‘sell’ it to a company, and they ‘buy’ them. When you are being offered the position, your salary negotiation skill will come into place!

Other than the need to know your worth and the median salary range in the market right now, you need to be equipped with negotiation skills! Using the wrong strategies might just lead you to the path of failure. No one wants to be underpaid and learning some great negotiation skills will do you some good!

Can’t wait to negotiate? Slow down! Be a smart candidate and here are the top 5 mistakes when negotiating a salary that you have to avoid:

Lack of research

Some candidates state their expected salary without much researching. They tend to decide the salary expectation merely based on what they need or by guessing.

Do research the valid market rate for the job position! Considering the working experience, qualifications, responsibilities and the geographic area of the industry are essential, as these points will determine the standard wage you deserve. Online salary reference is a useful resource, but keep in mind that the listed job titles might have a different scope of responsibilities.

It is also advisable to check within your network of people in the same job position. If it’s needed, do cross check with some recruiters from a professional organisation to find out how you should measure your expected salary.

Not asking for more

For some people, it might be awkward to negotiate a sensitive topic like salary. However, not negotiating at all might be worse off. Are you afraid if the employers will pull the offer? As long as you know where your capabilities are and the ability to fulfil well or even more than what the company expected. Do not ‘downgrade’ yourself so that you can get the job! Other than just considering the salary you are asking for, employers are also looking for the right talent fit!

Failing to consider non-salary items

Monetary might not give you the job satisfaction you need. Value your future employers, as they might be giving you a standard base salary but they could be offering other great benefits. A yearly bonus, regular business trips (across the cities or countries!), allowances, rewards to achievements and great retirement plan are some non-salary items worth considering! Thus, look at the overall package they are offering you.

Allow your future employers to know your last drawn salary

Some employers will ask you about the salary you are drawing in your previous job. Let them know and justify why you are currently asking for more.

Don’t take it personally

Salary negotiation is a good idea, but you might feel undervalued should the process goes the opposite direction. Do keep in mind that, business is still a business, and the employers will hire the best talents they can afford. When negotiation goes tough, and you are not able to accept the undervaluing offer, just let it go. Some companies also have their standard rules to the tier of salary package offered.

Salary negotiation is both challenging and tricky. Avoiding these 5 mistakes might help you out in future! Check out www.jobiness.com and find out what are you worth now!

Next read: Are You Well-Prepared for Your Internship? Beware of These Top 8 Common Mistakes!