Eight Sure Fire Ways You Are Screwing Up Your Job-Search

There are as many ways to find a job as the day is long and over my career in helping folks do just that I belive I have seen just about all of them. On the flip side, there are as many ways to screw up a job-search and today we are going to highlight eight of them.

  1. A recruiter / employer knows before they even post a job opening that you are going to be one of the first to apply. I think if most recruiters are being honest they know exactly who is going to apply to a position before they even post it. In fact, a recruiter friend recently told me that he was hesitant on broadcasting a role because he was starting to feel bad telling the same people no every time.
  2. A recruiter / hiring manager knows your phone number as soon as it pops up on caller id. Congrats you have moved from candidate to stalker. I would lay off of the following up a little bit and give the recruiter / hiring manager a bit of time to make decisions and move the process along.
  3. You are not easily found online. If you are looking for a job your information needs to be findable on LinkedIn, through Google, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on the job-boards (even if you just post a confidential resume). Recruiters are hunters, you are the prey, and if you cannot be found you  are going to make life much harder for yourself.
  4. You think that your resume and ability to interview are second to none. There is not much I can say here other than a reality check is needed.
  5. You have not worked on growing your network. Simple rule to remember – either network or don’t work. The reason that so many people say to network as part of your job-search activities is BECAUSE IT WORKS!
  6. Your computer and / or Oprah is your best friend. Get out from in front of your computer, turn Oprah off, and re-review number five.
  7. You have not worked to keep your skills current / improve your skills while you have in search. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “What are you doing to keep your skills current and up to date” and I am always shocked and appalled by the number of times I hear ‘nothing’ or complete silence. Your skill-set is a living, breathing thing. If you don’t feed it, it will die.
  8. Your phone feels like you have deserted it. Go back and review number five. If you are not working the phones you need to review your whole job-search strategy.

Hopefully none of these eight things apply to your search but if any of them are a review of how you are conducting your search should be had (like right now).

What would you add to this list? It could end up 100 long for sure – look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!


7 responses to “Eight Sure Fire Ways You Are Screwing Up Your Job-Search

  1. Expecting someone else to be as interested in finding you that next new position as you are. It’s not “their” job to find you something it’s “your” job, and I’d recommend treating it that way. Put in a full time schedule working all of the suggestions made above and you’ll be trying to decide which offer to accept in time.

  2. I couldn’t agree with your suggestions more, Matt. Although, I find it hard to turn off Oprah, getting off the couch is a good step indeed. I was just telling a dear friend that applying will only get you so far. Networking is the key – especially if you know someone at a company on your top 10 list. Building relationships with solid people that will at least get you on the phone with a recruiter or an in-person interview with a hiring manager is a step closer than applying and praying for a call back. At least with networking you can follow up and get referred for several jobs. Follow up being the next important step -not stalking. I would love to hear your thoughts on networking in your next blog post! Thanks for sharing these tips, Matt. I will surely pass them along to my friend.

  3. SF Bay Biorecruiter

    Right on the money! I have a 10 step process for targeted networking – the thought of networking can really scare people, but once you know what all the steps are, it gets easier.
    I also wrote a blog about the “job fairy” and how, as much as recruiters would like to be that, we are just human.

  4. I have never had much luck with networking. Made lots of friends but when it comes to job referrals, no dice. Why would you recommend someone who could concievably take your job?

    • Sounds like you’re networking with fellow job seekers Edna. Try meeting and greeting with a variety of people. Better yet volunteer for your church or favorite charity and who knows who you’ll meet and perhaps impress. It’s a lot less stressfull than a job interview, more rewarding, and could work for you.

  5. I’m 28. I used to network with only people my age. Then I saw the light: they were in the same boat as me, just getting established. At church, I started to talk to different people older than me, people that knew hiring managers and who had stability. That’s made all the difference.

  6. Robert C. Huffar

    The biggest thing that I can say, is to stop waiting on everyone else to find you a job, house, etc. The only person that can sell you, is you! If you are waiting on everyone to find you a job, you wil not have one any time soon.

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