In my previous posts I’ve talked a lot about interview techniques, resumes and cover letters. But I’ve known many people looking for a job who are doing everything right in these areas and are still having difficulty finding a new job. In talking with them, I’ve uncovered several common job search mistakes and in this post I’d like to share four of them with you.
Job Search Mistake #1: Not Spending Enough Time on Your Job Search
Not too long ago, an unemployed acquaintance of mine expressed his frustration that he’s been looking for a job for over six months with no results. When I asked him how many hours each day he spent on his job search, I was surprised at his answer: “About an hour, maybe two on some days.”
Seriously? If you’re unemployed you should be spending a minimum of at least six hours per day on your job search. Until you find a job, your full time job is to look for one. Spending an hour or two each day in today’s tough job market is simply not enough. If you’re employed and looking for a new job, spend two hours a day on your job search. The more time you spend on your job search, the faster you’ll find a new job.
Job Search Mistake #2: Using the Scatter-gun Approach
I’ve seen many job hunters apply for just about any position they feel they are even vaguely qualified for. Their reasoning is that the more resumes they send out, the better the chances of landing a job. Unfortunately, employers in the current job market receive many applicants for each opening they post and thus have the luxury of considering only the most qualified. Unless you’re reasonably qualified for jobs to which you apply, your resume will likely not be given more than a cursory glance and you’re simply wasting your time. You’ll have better results – and it will take less time – if you concentrate your efforts on those positions for which you are most qualified.
Job Search Mistake #3: Not Letting Others Know You Are Looking
Simply put, the more people who know you are looking for a job, the better the chances that you’ll find out about openings before they’re posted, or that you’ll be referred to a hiring manager. If you are unemployed, be sure that all your friends, relatives, ex-coworkers, etc, know that you are looking. They may just hear about something or know somebody who knows a hiring manager and can give you a referral. Today, there is really no stigma attached to being unemployed, given the recessions we’ve been in, so let anyone and everyone know you’re job searching. If you’re still employed, of course you must be more selective and should only tell people you trust.
Job Search Mistake #4: Not Pursuing All Available Channels
Many people just look in the newspaper or the online job sites, ignoring the many other channels available for job seekers. At a minimum, you should use the following methods: online job sites, Sunday help wanted ads, the online newspaper job opening sites, company web sites, temporary agencies, attending job fairs, registering with recruiters, setting up and keeping current a Linkedin profile, and networking as much as possible with others in your industry. Yes, it’s very time consuming to do all of these things, but remember: that’s why I recommend that you should spend six hours a day on your job search!
If you’re making any of these four job search mistakes, correct them and you’ll greatly increase your chances of landing a new job faster.