How is your job search going? Have you been making progress, or has your phone remained silent while you feverishly send out resumes? If you haven’t been getting the results that you were hoping for, you may have fallen into a job search pitfall. Take a look at the common mistakes that job seekers make that could be sabotaging all of your best efforts:
Being too picky. What are you looking for in a job? Are you willing to be flexible at all, or are you firm on your expectations? Sometimes it can be beneficial to accept a position that is less than ideal just to have the opportunity to get into the organization. Once you are working there and they see what a high quality employee you are, other opportunities may become available.
Being unfocused. Are you clear about what type of job you are looking for, or are you just applying to any job that catches your eye? Your job search process will be much more efficient if you know what job you are targeting. When you’re applying to a variety of different jobs, you have to constantly be modifying your resume and cover letter. Also, it’s more difficult to drill down and find those ideal positions when your efforts are scattered.
Being inconsistent. How have you been conducting your job search? Do you have a specific time set aside each day? How many applications are you submitting each week? Do you spend eight hours in one day job searching, and then put it aside for ten days? To be successful in your job search, you need to be consistent in your efforts. If you are only looking once every few days, you will miss a lot of opportunities. Also, keep in mind that on average, for every 50 applications you submit, you will get 2.5 interviews.
Being disorganized. Do you have all of your submitted applications and job descriptions well organized, either on your computer or in paper filing system? Or do you have papers strewn all over your office and files scattered throughout your computer? For your success, it is crucial that you are well organized. When the employers call you, you need to know which position they are talking about and what information you provided to them. If, when talking to the employer, you sound confused or you talk about experiences that you didn’t include on your resume, you will not make a good impression.
Being sloppy. Most employers won’t consider applicants who submit resumes or cover letters with errors. Employers know that applicants are on their best behaviour when they’re trying to get hired, so if your giving them sloppy work on your best behaviour, what will your performance be like after you get the job? Take the time to proofread everything that you’re submitting to the employer, and have someone else look it over for you.
Being vague. Job seekers that make general statements about their experience and skills submit weak applications. Be specific when you are telling the employer what you can do. Provide examples of your skills, and give them quantifiable evidence whenever possible. For example, “Developed a filing system that saved two days per month” is a much stronger statement than “Excellent organizational skills”.
It is easy to find yourself in the position where you are doing almost everything right, but there is just one thing that you’re doing that is limiting your success. It’s important that you regularly assess your approach to make sure that you’re not standing in your own way. Sometimes making a small tweak in the way that you approach your job search can have a huge impact on your results.
(Photo from: Chris Sharp/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
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