For the past several weeks we’ve been counting down the top 10 job search mistakes seen by our Career Services Advisors, and ways to avoid these mistakes. The number one mistake we see is…
1) Underestimating the power of networking or misunderstanding how to network to uncover job opportunities.
More job seekers are successful in uncovering and securing a job opportunity through networking than through any other form of job search. What is networking? It is simply talking to others to uncover direct or indirect potential job information or job opportunities.
Networking is not about asking for a favor or even asking for a job. And most of the time it is not about cold-calling or approaching people with whom you have no connection. It is about expanding the scope of your personal and professional acquaintances or connecting with others through those you know. It is more likely that someone who does not know you well will refer you to or recommend you for a job than it is for a closer personal acquaintance. This is because there is less risk to the person who knows you least.
Remember that most jobs are filled without being advertised in the newspaper or internet. They are filled through referrals made by hiring managers or co-workers early in the job creation process. So the more people you can connect with who are co-workers or managers in the type of industry and occupation you have targeted, the more opportunities you will find early in the less competitive stages of the job creation process.
#3 Procrastination: Waiting until the unemployment check runs out to start a job search.
#4 Not conducting a job search as if it were a full-time job.
#5 Lack of salesmanship and going the extra mile to differentiate yourself.
#6 Job seeking behavior that places the job seekers’ needs before the employer’s.
#7 Resumes that describe primarily routine job responsibilities and tasks rather then accomplishments.
#8 Job seekers are not specific about the kinds of jobs they want making the job search process less effective.
#9 Job seekers do not always take advantage of available support and resources.
#10 Job seekers do not take an honest self-inventory of what they have to offer an employer.