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3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Looking For a Job

May 11th, 2009 | admin | Help Finding a Job

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Looking For a Job

You may not know it, but if you are committing any of these three job search mistakes you are sabotaging yourself and will reduce your chances of getting a job.

Job Search Mistake #1

If you are using a generic resume and cover letter for each job-that’s a big mistake.  Don’t fall in love with your resume; because if you send the same resume out for every job it is likely to end in the recycling bin.

It is very important to customize your resume for every position you are applying for.  Identify the top three "must have qualifications" for the job and make sure your resume shows that you have experience doing these.

Also, because corporate recruiters scan resumes quickly, they are often looking for keywords that relate to the position.  If the resume does not contain these key words your resume will likely go back in the pile.  Some companies even use software to scan resume looking for these keywords.  So make sure you understand the position, what you will be doing and the experience required.  Then put keywords that correspond to that job in your resume.

Because a correctly written resume is so important today you may want to consider using a professional service that can do this for you.  Here’s one that does a great job.

Job Search Mistake #2

Don’t be desperate.  We all know the job market is tough and the economy is even tougher today.  Especially if you have bills to pay and are behind in your mortgage.  But employers can easily detect desperation.  As best you can be positive in all your job search efforts.  .

When you interview don’t talk about how bad your situation or bring up is negative things that have happened to you.  Sorry, but employers don’t want to hear that.  Instead, talk about your accomplishments and the value you can bring to the employer.

Employers are looking for upbeat, positive, energetic people that are confident, reliable and can bring value to their company.  Be prepared to talk about these things and give examples of how you possess these qualities.

Keep this in mind; you will not get hired because you need a job.  You will get hired if you are the best candidate and that means keeping it upbeat.

Job Search Mistake #3

Doing your entire job searching online is a big mistake.  Because of all the hype that the big job search engines get, like Monster and Career Builder, it is easy to think that most jobs will be found there.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, there are lots of jobs on these major search boards; however, most people hired today get their jobs through good old fashioned networking.  In fact, the estimate by most hiring experts is that 70 -80% of people hired get their jobs through networking.

In fact today, because there are so many people looking for work, many companies are not even advertising their openings.  They are networking among their employees and professional contacts asking "who do you know that may have these qualifications."

Proper networking means talking to everyone in your circle to let them know you are looking for new work.  By letting others know you are looking for a new job, you will come to mind when they hear of something that may be beneficial to you.

However there is a right way and a wrong way to network today.  But most people will network incorrectly by asking: "I’m looking for work, do you know who is hiring".  That question will result in a dead end-because the answer will be "I don’t know anyone that is hiring."

Instead ask this question: "How did you find your last few jobs?"
You will be surprised how much information asking this question will get you.  This question will generate good conversations with people and help you gather valuable job search information.  By asking this question you are getting people to talk about themselves.  Everyone loves talking about themselves.  It is a flattering question.
By asking this question people will tell you all about their previous job searches and you probably will even learn about what they do in their jobs.  The best part about this is that they will actually take on a sense of obligation to help you, a subliminal way of thanking you for letting them talk about themselves.

This obligation will come back to you in valuable job searching ways.  These people you network with will provide great help finding a job for you by keeping their antennas up for opportunities.  They will very likely come back to you with information you never would have obtained it you had just asked the over used "do you know anyone who is hiring."

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