Recently we counted down the top 10 job search tips recommended by our team of Career Services Advisors. This time we asked our team what they see as the biggest or most frequent mistakes made by job seekers. Many people make these mistakes without even knowing it, so it is important to be aware of your habits and make sure you’re conducting a productive job search. Check back each week as we review the top 10 mistakes people make, and how to avoid them!
10) Job seekers do not take an honest self-inventory of what they have to offer an employer.
Unemployment can be a blessing and a curse. If you didn’t see it coming, it can be immobilizing, stopping you dead in your tracks. But this temporary time out provides you with the perfect opportunity to re-examine how you spend more than 25% of your life. This process requires introspection and taking a hard look at who you are at this point in your life. This is particularly important if you have been working in a particular occupation, job or company for a long time.
Ask yourself what’s important in your life, what makes you happy, what do you do best and what causes you the most stress. Greater self-knowledge regarding your interests, skills, and values will enable you to confidently respond to the question asked by every employer, either implicitly or explicitly, “Why do you want this job and why here?” Additionally, the more in tune you are with what you want and what you honestly have to offer, the more focused and therefore, successful your job search will be.
Self-exploration and assessment are facilitated by working with employment and career specialists. Many job seekers either underestimate or overestimate their skills, experience, and marketability. A career advisor or counselor can help you take an objective inventory of your interests, aptitudes, skills, and experience in the context of the current labor market and what’s hot and what’s not. As you network, seek feedback from hiring professionals, industry representatives, and people you know who are in your career field. Act upon this information by adjusting your job or career target and your job search techniques. If advised, pursue training to update your skills and enhance your marketability. Self assessment – the good, the bad and the ugly – is a critical first step for targeting a job search, creating your marketing brochure (the resume) and selling yourself as you network and interview.