Stop Making the 3 Biggest Job Search Mistakes

You have probably heard the famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So, why do so many job seekers continue the same routine, optimistically waiting for that call, only to be disappointed as weeks turn into months?

If this sounds like your job search, it is time to make a change. Stop making the biggest job search mistakes that are holding you back from the success that you deserve.

Conducting a Passive Search

Many candidates scan job sites and send resumes to a handful of recruiters. Next, they sit back and wait for the magic to happen.

Surprisingly, many job candidates believe that the recruiter’s job is to find them a job.

The recruiter’s job is to bring high-quality candidates to fill their clients’ needs. Their client is the hiring employer. Job search sites are great, but they represent only a portion of the opportunities in the market and candidates are competing against hundreds for attention.

Why wait for something to happen? Instead, actively pursue your targets using multiple methods, including networking, research and cold-contacting, LinkedIn, job boards, and through recruiters.

Searching without a Plan

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

A series of impulsive actions without a plan will produce random results. Without a plan, opportunities are missed. Determine your career goal and design a plan to find prospective jobs, network to increase your exposure to influential contacts, and to market yourself.

Create a daily schedule of tasks to execute your plan. Make note of tactics that are working and those that are a waste of your time. Update your plan to achieve success.

Being Disconnected or Disengaged

According to CareerXRoads 2014 Source of New Hire study, employee referral is the number one source of new hires.

The report also stated that candidates hired through job postings are significant, but trending downward.

This empirical data underscores the importance of being connected to your network.

On and offline networking keeps you in the loop. You are in a position to help others stay abreast of industry and company news and likewise you are poised to get a jump on any news you hear.

Start by creating a compelling online presence on major social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Stay active in professional associations and civic organizations. Establish a network that extends beyond professional groups, including sports clubs, non-profit organizations, and faith-based congregations.

The more you engage, the more you enrich your career while also providing assistance to others.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that if you are repeating the same activities and producing lackluster results, it is time to change your behavior. Create a plan for an active, consistent job search. Make things happen rather than waiting for something magically to happen for you.

Debra WheatmanAbout the author…

Debra Wheatman is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). She is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques with more than 18 years’ corporate human resource experience. Debra has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading publications, including, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. Debra may be reached at [email protected], or you may visit her website at
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