Are you making these mistakes in your job search? Chances are, you’re making at least one or two — if not more! This 5-part series will detail some of the most common mistakes job seekers make and provide suggestions on how to stop them.
- Paying Attention to Other People’s Opinions. “You have to do this,” “Never do that,” “My cousin’s best friend got a job by standing out in front of the company wearing a sandwich board.” Everyone’s got an opinion about how to conduct a job search. Some of it is confusing, some of it is just plain wrong. Your friends and family can be wrong about how the job search works, and it might hurt your chances to get your dream job. Trust your résumé writer, and trust your instincts. Don’t believe everything you read online, and remember that one person’s opinion is just that — one person’s opinion.
- Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results. “I applied for six jobs and haven’t heard anything back.” Well, then something’s not working. Either stop applying for advertised positions, start following up on the applications you’ve already put in, or figure out a different way to connect with your dream job. It’s been said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different!
- Not Paying Attention to What Worked For You Before in Your Job Search. This is the opposite of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This time, we want you to achieve the same result as before — a great job. So look at what worked for you the last time you landed the job you wanted. Were you networking at a professional association meeting? At your child’s basketball game and struck up a conversation with the person next to you? Or did you apply on a company’s website? Consider doing more of what worked for you last time and see if it works for you again.
- Applying Through Traditional Means. You see a job posted on Indeed.com for a job you’re really interested in. Do you click “Apply Now”? Not without first looking to see if the job is advertised on the company’s own website. Applying on the company’s website is generally preferred to applying through a job search portal, even if the application button takes you to the same form. (That way, it will list the source of the application as the company website and not Indeed.com.) After you apply online, don’t stop there. See if you are already connected with someone at the company. Reach out to him or her and see if you can find the name of the hiring manager. Connect with the hiring manager directly by email or phone. Follow up by mailing a print copy of your résumé.
- Forgetting That People Hire People. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the technology in a job search. How to make your résumé ATS-friendly (meaning, helping it get through the Applicant Tracking System software that many large companies use). How to use LinkedIn in the job search. Don’t forget that ultimately, people hire people. Connecting to the right person at a company can make the difference between getting hired, and not even getting a response to your application.