Mistake #1 – Lack of Focus
- You want to “stay open to possibilities” and are hoping employers will see where you fit into their organization.
- Your resume has a vague objective and lists your background without customization.
- You insist that you’ll be an asset to anyone who hires you so you don’t focus on a specific employment target.
- To the employer, you look like a “job shopper” and your search goes on for months.
- Complete a self-assessment process. This can be accomplished when you work with us. We’ll customize an approach that works for you which is customized, convenient, confidential and breaks you free from career misery! Work with a qualified career coach.
Mistake #2 – Job Search Without a Plan
- You wake up every morning and wonder – what am I going to do today to get out of my rut? It’s overwhelming.
- You could look at the Internet job sites, go to a local job fair, or call your best friend who always listens to you no matter what. Let’s face it, you don’t have a plan and your job search is going nowhere.
- Think outside of the box…in fact… SHATTER the box!
- Clearly identify a target industry and function, which allows you to identify the people you need to meet.
- Identify companies in your geographic area that could hire you, if they had an opening. Then decide how you are going to let those companies know you are available.
- Send a customized cover letter, a resume, and follow up with a phone call a week later. Explain your interest in their company and ask for a meeting.
- Attend professional association meetings and events that will get you in touch with the people you need to meet.
- Use multiple avenues to reach the potential employers. Do not rely on any single approach.
- Set goals
“You can’t write your resume until you know what you want to do. Perhaps you think you are getting off to a great start by hiring some flashy resume service. Believe me, it’s a waste of your time and money!”
Mistake #3 – Writing Your Resume as a First Step
- You can’t write your resume until you know what you want to do. Perhaps you think you are getting off to a great start by hiring some flashy resume service. Believe me, it’s a waste of your time and money! Recruiters can spot a professionally developed, generic resume and it goes into the wastebasket. They want a well thought-out resume that reflects your personality and talents.
- Start with your self-assessment and then research potential employment targets
- Once you know what you want, you can look at your previous accomplishments and match them with the requirements of your target job and employer.
- Then write a resume that will get employers to call you first. Advertise on LinkedIn.
Mistake #4 – Meeting with People Before Doing Your Research
- If you are like many job seekers, you reviewed your list of contacts as soon as you hit the job-hunting trail. You dialed those numbers and asked for jobs. You hit up the few big decision makers you knew, hoping they would hook you up with a great opening. Basically, you sounded needy and, yes, unfocused. You “burned your network”. Now it’s hard to go back.
- First, if you have not burned your network, don’t do that! Generally you want to do all your reading and internet research first.
- Learn about industry trends. Learn the key words and cultural characteristics of your target market. Find job descriptions that match your goals and skills.
- Prepare a thirty-second statement that explains what you want to do and why you are qualified.
- Your first calls should be to the LEAST influential people. Practice on them. Ask them who else you should be talking to.
- Work your way up to the best contacts you have. Be very prepared before you talk to the powerful people on your list.
- If you ran through your network too early, re-connect, starting, as I mentioned before, with the bottom of your contact list. Explain that your focus has been refined and you’d like to update them on your progress. And be sure to ask them who else you should be talking to.
- This will help expand your network and get you back into the game with a fresh start.
- Even brief updates can keep your networking alive.
Mistake #5 – Jumping Into the First Thing that Comes Along
- The unemployment rate can be sobering (especially if you listen to the news or read the newspaper), but it rarely reflects all the details of your particular situation. So, while it is tough to find a really good job, there are jobs to be found. No matter how low the unemployment rate goes, it is tempting to jump at the first offer. If you are a worrier (and who is not), you want to get closure on your transition. Maybe you accept more travel than you really want—or a lower salary. Before you know it, another five years has gone by and all you’ve got to show for it is more gray hair, stress and health issues.
- Let’s face it, job hunting is scary and can cause you to pull the trigger too fast.
- If you need money right away, consider temporary employment or contract work in your field, but don’t under-employ yourself.
- If your job search is becoming prolonged, hire a professional to help you.
- Every month that you go without a salary, you are losing much more than it would cost you to hire a good career coach.
Mistake #6 – Not Following Up
- You have to take the initiative, even in the face of possible rejection. And, if you are human, that sounds about as much fun as a root canal. But, let me assure you that lack of follow-up is at the bottom of most stalled job hunts.
- Know that every letter, every meeting, and every interview will require timely, thoughtful follow up. Standard letters or emails, done quickly, may be worse than no follow up letter at all. Take time to think about ways to bring up your positive attributes.
- Show your good manners and excellent communication skills.
- Ask for another meeting, if it seems appropriate. Keep the door open and find ways to be helpful to everyone in your network
“Know that every letter, every meeting, and every interview will require timely, thoughtful follow up. Take time to think about ways to bring up your positive attributes.”
Mistake #7 – Taking a Break
- I can hear it now; you are sick of your job search. All you want is a lounge chair on a beach in Hawaii. And, lo and behold, your best buddy is going next week and he asks you to join him. Well, you’ve been really working hard on this search so you figure you deserve a break. You head off for a week and plan to pick up where you left off when you return. So what’s the big deal, you ask? Well, it’s called “momentum”. A good job search is strategic and builds on itself, it’s much like running a marathon. While you will get tired, the option of stopping and then starting again in mid race is out of the question. When you walk away from your search, you miss events and do not follow up in a timely manner. You miss a week of job postings and are not there for the one really important phone call.
- If you are working and conducting a search, plan to spend about ten hours every week on your job hunt.
- If you are unemployed, you should spend about thirty hours a week on your search. If an emergency comes up, realize that you will lose ground while you are busy doing something else.
- If a job offer comes up, be available.
Mistake #8 – Being Disorganized
- Searching for a job is messy. It involves lots of paperwork and keeping track of important information. The person who gets the good job will be the one who answered the phone promptly, did not get lost on the way to the interview, and spelled the hiring manager’s name correctly. The devil is in the details. Your job search will go on if you don’t get organized.
- Set up a simple contact management system.
- Have a professional phone message and decide where (in your house or office) you will be most productive–and organize that space.
Mistake #9 – Listening to the Wrong People
- Mistake number ten is related to mistake number nine. There are lots of negative people in the world and sometimes they are members of your own family or people who are out of touch with the current labour market and ways to find employment. If you listen to people who are fearful or lacking self-confidence, they will lay all of their insecurities on you. They make remarks like, “Be satisfied with what you have”. “The grass is always greener on the other side”. And, “There really are no good jobs anymore these days”. Yikes, with that kind of input, you will never get the great job you deserve.
Some ways to avoid being taken down by negativity:
- Hang out with the cheerleaders…no, I don’t mean the ones at the football games.
- Stay in touch with people who think highly of you.
- Seek out role models, people you admire.
- Get the support you need.
5 Point Perspectives can help!
You have unique talents that need to be utilized. You want to live up to your potential. There is no reason you cannot have the job you’ve always dreamed of or start your own business if that is your deepest aspiration. And now . . . you are equipped to avoid the common mistakes that most job seekers make in order to get there.
Value yourself. Invest in your future! Let Perspectives help you navigate your career to success!