Listed below are the 5 things that most job seekers do that restrict their own job queries and bring their search activities to a grinding halt and a downward spiraling motivation to keep looking.
If you need to shoot yourself in the foot, be sure to engage in these job search strategies:
1) Chain Your Job-Search for your Resume
Most job search specialists that you go to hear will concentrate on some aspect of your resume, as though it is a given that this is the key to success. However , with the job market because competitive as it is right now, relying on your own resume automatically brings you into direct competition with everyone else out there who is interested in the same job. Should you have a resume (and a good one? ) – yes! But the more effective method to get access to those jobs out there (especially the 80% of jobs that comprise the “hidden” job market) would be to lead with trusted relationships, not a cold piece of paper.
2) Hold Too Tightly to Specific Work Titles
At one organization a particular set of skills holds a certain job title. That same skill set is going to be called something else at another business. If you focus your efforts on only looking for jobs that have a specific work title, you will miss out on many other jobs that use the exact same set of skills. Most hiring managers care less about your own actual job titles than they do your skill sets and what it is that you can do for them. Don’t limit yourself by being overly concerned about (and myopically focused on) a small list of work titles that you have held or that you are pursuing.
3) Only Look at Open Positions
If 80% of the available jobs out there are in the “hidden” job market (meaning that they are currently nor posted anywhere on an organizations internet site or a job board, nor will be any recruiter working to fill them), then why spend most of your time competing with the hoards of others that are focusing on the remaining 20% of job opportunities that are posted as being “open”? Oftentimes the astute job seeker is able to stumble onto jobs that have not really yet been posted or these people so impress a hiring manager the manager creates a position for them. Have faith that there are many more jobs available than appear as open placements and conduct your job-search routines in such a way as to beat your competition to people jobs. Not only will you get access to a lot more jobs, but by not getting constantly in such heavy competition and feeling beat up by it, you will be a lot more able to emotionally sustain your search.
4) Keep Too Focused on Certain Organizations or Industries
Obviously some placements will always need to be narrowly focused on a particular industry (i. e Doctor > Healthcare), but don’t let your self become severely limited by only contemplating specific organizations or specific sectors unnecessarily. In most cases the skills and experience that you have gained can be effectively leveraged to apply to industries or companies that you have never considered (and some times never even heard of)! Do your research and determine who else needs the skills and experience you have gained – I guarantee the fact that opportunities out there will surprise you. So open up your mind to functioning somewhere else outside of the box. It simply may be the most exciting career proceed that you have ever made!
5) Expect Staffing Professionals to Have All the Answers
I actually worked for 10 years in the staffing industry, and believe me no one knows more about resumes that staffing professionals. However , staffing professionals are paid by their client companies. They are not paid to be your unmitigated career advocate. Staffing professionals will always motivate you to focus on your resume (see point #1) because this is the foreign currency that they trade in all day long. Staffing professionals live “in the particular box” and the in-the-box approach that does not serve you well (especially right now because of sheer competition), was designed for people during these roles. Need advice about resumes and cover letters? Depend on the staffing professional. Need to access the particular hidden job market? Don’t expect a staffing professional to have the answers.
Just about all 5 of these things together stipulate CHOKE:
C (Chain Your Job-Search… )
H (Hold Too Tightly… )
O (Only Look at… )
K (Keep Too Focused… )
E (Expect Staffing Professionals… )
Keep your job-search vibrant and healthy – don’t choke the life out of it!
Greg is the Director of Business Development at the Atlanta Institute of Technology Professional Schooling Department and owner of Greg Dillon Training & Consulting.
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Greg has been teaching, training, coaching and speaking on careers and people advancement for the past 18 years. In Feb, 2009 Greg appeared on the include of Fortune Magazine