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.
- Not Engaging Professionals to Help. Speaking of résumé writers, career coaches, and therapists, one common mistake job seekers make is trying to go it alone. If you wanted to climb Mount Everest, you’d hire a guide. When you’re climbing the job search mountain, engage a “career navigator” to help you along the way!
- Not Asking Others For Help. When someone asks you for help in their job search, you willingly offer it (if you’re able), don’t you? So why is it that we’re so reluctant to ask others for their help when we need it? People like to help other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. But make sure you’re asking for the right kind of help. Ask specific questions: “Do you know anyone who works for Company XYZ?” “How did you get your job at Organization ABC?” “Would you mind helping me practice my interview answers?”
- Only Applying for Advertised Jobs. Research shows that up to three-quarters of job openings are never advertised publicly. Many of these are filled through employee referrals and word of mouth. And sometimes, you can apply to a company for a job that doesn’t even exist yet. Yes, companies do create jobs. Sometimes they will meet a candidate and not have a current opening that would be a match. In that case, they will sometimes create a new position that takes advantage of the candidate’s knowledge and experience.
- Networking The Wrong Way. Second only to not using your network at all, is using it incorrectly. Your network is comprised of all the people that you know and also all the people that they know. Don’t just think that because you don’t personally know anyone who works for Company ABC that you’re out of luck using your network. Ask the people you know who they know. But remember that networking requires relationship building and relationship management. If you haven’t talked to someone for five years, don’t let your first contact with them be, “Hey, can you help me get a job at your company?” Author Harvey Mackay has a great book on this: “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.”
- Unintentionally Broadcasting Your Job Search. If you’re currently employed, be careful with your job search. Don’t set up a LinkedIn profile and send out so many connection requests that you go from 0 to 500 connections in a week. Be thoughtful about your job search, and deliberate. Turn off the setting that sends notifications to others in LinkedIn, especially as you build your profile. Don’t apply to job postings that don’t specify the employer. (That perfect job you’re applying for might be your current position!) And be sure to let any recruiters you’re working with know that you’re conducting a confidential job search.