Editor’s Note: On August 2, The Self Improvement Show will be a call in show for you to ask any questions you have about how to land the job you want. Put it on your calendar: August 2, 12 noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT)
By Scott Coulter -
Every job seeker has the responsibility of developing a “great” game plan for finding employment. They have to account for the geographical location, skill sets, expertise and most importantly the hard work it will take to make sure the employment outcomes are positive.
Today, the job seeker has less room for failure. Many employers are reporting that hundreds, if not thousands of applicants are applying for one single job opportunity. Those numbers can also be intimidating to the best job seekers in the world. Every aspect of the job seeking process has to be strategically planned and executed with precision, if you want to gain employment within a short amount of time.
Here are some quick job search pitfalls to avoid while searching for employment:
1. Applying for every job you “FEEL” you may qualify for. Recruiters and employers hate to see resumes of professionals who seem to be “Jack of all trades, master of none”. You will seem unorganized and this method will show a lack of career focus. To a manager, you are just seeking a job vs building a career.
2. Avoid Social Media Immaturity. Today, social sites such as Facebook are locked in a heated battle for personal privacy with major employers. Employers are beginning to ask job seekers for social site logins to check for criminal activity or inappropriate behavior that could damage the company brand. Job seekers are caught in the middle with little input on the direction to solve the issue. Both sides have a solid case, but the job seeker is the one who could pay the price. To avoid any transitional pitfalls, eliminate all social media pitfalls and clean up your social sites. Meaning:
a. Take down all party, vulgar or border line photos on your social media pages.
b. Dislike any friends who use gang, inappropriate or XXX rated material when communicating on your personal page.
c. If you can’t control the content being communicated on your social media sites, delete the site during your job seeking process.
d. Choose your social media content and friends wisely. Go with professional social sites like LinkedIn or Google+. Any misunderstanding of your social habits could affect your job status.
3. Asking professionals for a “Hook up”. If you must constantly ask a professional to “hook you up”, then 9 times out of 10, these professionals are not sold on your employability brand. Refrain from asking professionals for a “hook up”. Learn to build your employability brand. Network more and join user groups that are designed to develop job related leads.
4. Looking too desperate. Desperate job seekers are a risky hire for most employers. They tend to bring unwanted baggage to the interview and the work environment. Be confident, have a great attitude and keep an upbeat spirit while looking for employment.
5. Bad mouthing previous employers and leaders. Stay positive. Bad things happen to good people. Most employers understand that things happen, and if you are the perfect candidate, you’ll be hired anyway. There is no need to describe how your layoff hurt your finances or how much of a dirt bag your last manager was. It’s not professional to do so.
6. Getting caught unprepared. Job seekers become discouraged over time. That discouraging attitude becomes a lazy approach to employment. Once you get caught in a lazy attitude, your job seeking duties become secondary. It then affects your interviews, appearance and even your approach to job seeking activity. Stay prepared and engaged, no matter how long it takes.
7. Resume gaps. Gaps on a resume is a major red flag. It sends off the wrong signal to recruiters. Gaps could have several different meanings and each one is up to interpretation of the reader if they are not defined clearly on the resume. If you have extended periods of unemployment, state it. Don’t try to hide it! Employers understand that recessions can leave good working Americans unemployed, so don’t be ashamed to let them know that.
8. Not understanding how valuable you are in the market. Candidates who don’t know their market value, typically negotiate contracts that are grossly undervalued. Every employer wants value for the dollar, but “WILL” pay market price for a great employee. Most job seekers sell themselves short because they don’t know what their true value is. Study your market. Get to know your peers, and find out what your true value is.
9. Searching for jobs in all the wrong places. More than 78% of the open jobs in America are hidden to the public. One of the biggest pitfalls of job seekers is looking for jobs in all the wrong places. Find the hidden job market through networking, user groups, recruiters, industry associations, fraternities and professional friends & family members. Networking for employment must become a part of your job search strategy. Don’t wait on your employment opportunity to come from the job boards. Be aggressive and proactive outside of the obvious search areas.
10. Failing to establishing a job seeker budget. Job seekers must budget job seeking activity each week. Set aside time, money and reliable transportation to make sure you don’t get caught off guard. Receiving an interview and not having enough finances to make the meeting is a hard way to lose the job opportunity. The same applies for not having the ability to make and receive employer follow up calls. Make the appropriate sacrifices, and set aside some cash to get employed. It may require you to limit your smoking habit or even terminate the party seen for a while. However, be responsible and choose your long term career over a short term need.