Many people make significant job search mistakes and never even know about it. These blunders are easy to make, but can cost you thousands of dollars.
Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” (John Wiley & Sons, www.getthejobbook.com) reveals these top 10 mistakes below, and explains how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Responding to Online Job Postings
In general, job postings and “want ads” produce little value. However, it is also a mistake to ignore them altogether. Some of the best chances for jobs from ads are in specialty trade publications and web sites of specific industries. Myers suggests spending no more than five percent of your valuable time on public job postings.
Mistake #2: Mailing Unsolicited Resumes
Unsolicited resumes are considered garbage, scrap paper and wasted effort. Secretaries kill them, HR managers file them away, and hiring decision-makers pitch them. Myers advocates abandoning this job search tactic completely.
Mistake #3: Looking Only for Job Openings
Searching for companies with “openings” is an obsolete job hunting method. The best jobs are never “vacancies” or “openings.” Rather, more than 40% of positions are created for the applicant, oftentimes at the interview. The key is to shift your focus from “openings” to “opportunities” (which exist nearly everywhere).
Mistake #4: Ineffective Networking
Networking should be the primary focus of every job search. However, Myers finds that most people go about it the wrong way – by talking too much and asking for jobs. The best networkers are listeners rather than talkers, have a clear agenda, and are not shy about asking for feedback and guidance. Remember that networking is more about giving than it is about taking.
Mistake #5: Leaving Yourself Open to Many Kinds of Jobs
Another key to a successful job search is to focus on finding the RIGHT job – not “just any job.” Critical factors to consider include satisfaction, growth potential, location, cultural fit, great co-workers, a pleasing environment and competitive compensation.
Mistake #6: Being Unplanned in Your Search
Most people spend more time planning a vacation than planning a job search. Myers suggests the following tips to conduct a proper job search: a well-thought out methodology, daily solitude and planning, space in the home dedicated to the search, and a system for accountability.
Mistake #7: Doing it Alone
You pay a mechanic to change your oil; an attorney to create an estate plan. Why would you not invest in professional help with your job search? Career Coaches provide objective guidance, help you “think outside the box,”and provide a proven system for job search success. Many offer excellent advice on salary negotiations – often exceeding the job seeker’s expectations.
Mistake #8: Letting Others Control Your Job Search
Myers suggests working with a small selection of professional recruiters – they can serve an important role in your search. But you’ll need to maintain control over the whole process. Of course, it is best to conduct your own research and target the right companies yourself. Remember: only you can “sell yourself” effectively and land a job.
Mistake #9: Not Preparing Well Enough for Job Interviews
When you boil it down, all job interviews are comprised of five basic elements: articulating your value, conveying your knowledge of the company, asking intelligent questions, negotiating compensation, and following-up. Each of these items has to be practiced in advance, so you can “ace” the job interview. “Winging it” just won’t do!
Mistake #10: Not Knowing Your Market Value
You must research and assess your value in the marketplace before you attend a single interview. Never disclose your salary requirements – always get the employer to name the salary or range first. The time to talk money is when the employer has made it clear that you are their top candidate, and after they make an offer.
“It is very easy for even the savviest of job seekers to make these mistakes. By learning how to navigate these potential pitfalls from the outset, your job search will be more productive and yield more positive results,” adds Myers.
Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. His firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Ford has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. His articles and interviews have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, and he has conducted presentations at numerous companies, associations and universities. In addition, Ford has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs across the country. He is author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Learn more at www.CareerPotential.com.