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For every item you need to get right for your job search, there are probably 100 things you don’t want to get wrong. The top 5 mistakes most job seekers make are listed below. Following are a few tips on things to avoid.
1. You Don’t Have a Brand:
Overkill – Your “brand” is critical to your job search, but it should not be your entire focus. Be careful not to go overboard by creating an exhaustive four or five-page resume that highlights everything you’ve ever done in your career.
You Don’t Have a Purpose – You seem to be “all things to all people” and have not defined a purpose. If you are not focused on who you are and what you want you don’t really have a marketable brand.
2. Too Many Job Search Boards:
Limit the Number of Sites You Use: If you use more than 2 or 3 job search sites you should consider cutting down. Depending on the sites you use, most of the major sites have similar (if not the same) job opportunities. You should use:While I strongly believe that the more people who know you are looking for a job, the better your chances for finding a job, I don't believe that you should use any of the services that 'blast' or mass deliver your resume to hundreds of employers.Click To Tweet
- One major site such as ZipRecruiter or Indeed.com
- LinkedIn (see 5 Tips for Creating a Professional LinkedIn Profile)
- One site which focuses on your career type (see Industries & Professions Career Sites)
Focus on the Most Recent Opportunities: Most job opportunities are posted and “filled” within a few days. Set your search criteria to jobs posted within the last 7 days.
3. You Don’t Manage Your Time:
As you are no doubt aware, job search can be very time-consuming. It’s so easy to go off on a tangent and not accomplish much in terms of your job search. Try the following:
- Create a job search plan (see Job Search Planning).
- Use the “one a day method” which is to submit at least one job application a day through one of the sites mentioned in item #2 above.
- Balance your time by alternating your job search resource (company career sites, job search boards, recruiters, and your network).
David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization.
4. “More” is not always Better:
While I strongly believe that the more people who know you are looking for a job, the better your chances for finding a job, I don’t believe that you should use any of the services that “blast” or mass deliver your resume to hundreds or thousands of potential employers. This method is likely to result in your resume looking spam. Targeted search (applying for specific opportunities) is still the best method. This allows you to personalize your application (by using a specific cover letter) and control the distribution of your resume (what would happen if your current boss was on the mass mailing list?).
5. Your Resume has Errors (or Worse):
Your resume will be tossed.
Spell checks don’t always work as planned and grammar checkers even less so. If your resume has basic typographical errors it is highly unlikely that you will get an interview. Even if you’ve checked your resume several times, there is still a chance that you have some errors or have maybe phrased something that could be hard to understand. The best method for proofreading your resume is to have a friend or relative check it for errors.
Career Tip of the Day: 7 Plus Things You Don’t Want on Your Resume
Suggested Reading: No Mistakes Interviews: How To Get The Job You Want (No Mistakes Careers Book 2)
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