Let’s face it: We’ve all heard our fair share of job search horror stories. From addressing the wrong company in your cover letter to blowing a job interview, mistakes come in all shapes and sizes — and can happen to anyone.
Here’s a mistake you may not realize you’ve been making: the way you search for a job.
Although it’s never fun to evaluate your own performance, the job search is based heavily on trial and error–and there are certainly wrong ways to go about seeking employment. Don’t waste valuable time, energy, and money on a terrible job search. It’s time to take a deeper look at the way you’re searching.
Here are seven terrible ways to search for a job–avoid these so you don’t become a job search horror story legend:
1. Never Leaving Your House. We now live in an age where it’s completely possible to be too immersed in technology. One sure-fire way to fail at your job search is to confine yourself to your home. The job search might leave you feeling a little like a hermit, but you need to maintain relationships with your network to tap into their valuable resources. Make a point to stay in touch with your connections, as well as putting effort into expanding the network you already have.
2. Thinking Only Inside The Box. The job search is no place for routine and standard thought processes, especially in this highly competitive job climate. Job seekers who don’t stand out won’t get hired. Go above and beyond to get noticed by employers by looking for new ways to boost the presentation of your qualifications throughout the hiring process.
3. Trying To Fit A Mold. No worthwhile employer is looking for a drone candidate. Too many individuals find themselves attempting to fit a certain mold during their job hunt — this certainly isn’t a positive tactic. Break the mold by cashing in on your niche and showcasing yourself in a way that leaves hiring managers unable to pass you up. This means truly assessing what you can bring to a position and marketing yourself appropriately.
4. Failing To Get Personal. Far too many job seekers overlook the need for a personal touch during their job search. Getting personal spans many areas including: personalized interactions throughout the hiring process, expanding your network through personal interactions, and more. A successful job search demands a level of personalization that can only be reached through focus and energy.
5. Forgetting To Strategize. While timing and luck do play a special role in the job search, all job seekers are certain to fail without a set strategy. The amount of time and effort you put into developing a strong and well-thought out job search strategy, the faster you’ll get hired. Develop goals, create lists, manage your time, track your applications, and network until you’re blue in the face.
6. Failing To Explore Other Avenues. Your job search should involve a variety of different elements. Getting hired today means finding new avenues to reach out to employers. Gather a list of companies that you want to work for, join professional organizations, attend conferences, and build an unbeatable online brand.
7. Not Learning From Mistakes. Errors are bound to take place during the job search, but the real mistake is not learning from them. You may have sent out one too many mediocre resumes, but you’ve grown through this and developed a hard-hitting resume for your latest opportunity.
During the job search, it’s important to be both a critic and a marketer of your own work. Transform your employment search by repeatedly evaluating its effectiveness.
What’s the best job search advice you would offer first-time or out-of-practice job seekers? Let us know in the comments.
About the Author: Afifa Siddiqui is the COO and Co-founder of Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that cuts the time to apply in half. Connect with Afifa and Careerleaf on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.