We’ve isolated five common job-search problems and are giving you the solutions.
Are you stuck in a job-search rut? You might be making one of these classic mistakes. Read on to learn some of the most common job-search errors, and what you can do to get your job hunt back on track before the New Year.
#1: Winging It
The first steps most people take when beginning a job search include resume updates or networking activities. However, there’s a step each job seeker should take prior to these activities: inventory your key skill sets and passions and document a clear set of job goals. These will influence all your job-search activities, including how your resume and online profiles are positioned, which jobs you apply to, and with whom to network. If you don't lay this groundwork, there's a good chance you'll lose focus or change your goals halfway through the process, unnecessarily prolonging your job search.
#2: DIY resume writing
You, like most people, probably consider your career to be an important part of your identity. That's one of the reasons the job search can be such an emotional rollercoaster. It's personal. And for that very reason, it's difficult for job seekers to be objective when writing their own resumes. An eye-tracking study from TheLadders found that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they decide if you are a fit for the job. You need to make that time count! Having your resume rewritten by a professional can make you 40 percent more likely to land the job you want.
#3: Thinking one and done
Job seekers will often stick to the one job-search method with which they're most comfortable. However, searching for a job in today's market requires you to use more than one channel to pursue leads. Harness the power of three: apply to jobs online, engage in recruiter activity, and utilize your social and professional network connections. This will increase the number of opportunities you can pursue.
#4: Failing to follow up
Most people fail to follow up within 24 hours of going on an interview. By following up with a tailored message after each interview, you differentiate yourself from the competition. Reiterate the main points from your discussion, address how you can solve the hiring manager's current needs, and highlight any information you didn't get to share in the interview that's relevant to the position. Use each follow-up as an opportunity to advance your position in the hiring process.
#5: Job searching sometimes
Searching for a job is its own job. To land the role you want, you need to maintain a consistent level of activity each week. If you have a bad day in the job hunt, double your efforts the following day rather than taking a break. Review your schedule and block off time each week for your job-search activities. Luckily, this doesn’t require you to be glued to your computer screen all day. Leverage your smartphone and job-search apps to search on the go. Set small, achievable weekly goals around each job-search activity and track your progress.
Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.