#1: Failing to take full inventory of your talents and marketable skills
Many people assume getting a job is largely a matter of luck. You’ll hear expressions, such as, “It’s who you know” or “You need to be in the right place at the right time.” Instead, make your own luck. Create an inventory of your talents and marketable skills. List all the training and education you have. Then add the jobs you’ve held, what you know how to do well, and anything else that will help a potential employer know who you are.
#2: Not casting a wide enough net to find suitable positions for your talents and skills
After completing your inventory, you must cast as wide a net as possible for suitable positions related to your talents and skills. Within the rapidly changing global economy and evolving technology, new positions are constantly being added and previous ones are changing or being phased out. Consult sources like the Occupational Outlook Handbookto find positions of interest. Be sure to check out the websites of professional organizations listed with each entry for advice, too.
#3: Poor branding of your professional identity, especially online
Now that you have a good idea of what you have to offer and where to begin your search, check your online identity. Most employers are searching the Internet to see who their applicants are, so make sure you’ve branded yourself as a professional with all of the talents and skills you identified in your inventory. Check that those spring break or hangover pictures are removed from your social media sites. Instead, be sure to set up active profiles in Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. Make it easy for potential employers to find the candidate of their dreams in you.
#4: Failing to strategize
By now you’ve probably begun to realize that failing to strategize is another major mistake made while job hunting. In addition to the above techniques, make it a daily routine to check online job sites, such as MyJobHelper and set auto-alerts to notify you by email of open positions whenever possible. Network with as many people as possible to let them know you’re looking for a new job. Don’t just focus online because it’s easiest. Get out there and see who’s hiring. Be interview ready with appropriate clothing and copies of your resume.
#5: Doing nothing
Branding and searching are necessary to find a good job. However, don’t wait. Set yourself up as working in some way immediately. When possible, start your own job, even if it’s mowing lawns, cleaning houses, or running an eBay business. You’ll have some income coming in, but more importantly, you’ll show employers you want to work. Similarly, volunteer for non-profits or projects, especially those related to your job search. Companies like to see employees who give back to their communities, and again, you’ll be gaining job experience. Take action to strengthen any weaknesses that come up as you inventory your skills and hunt for a job.
Avoiding the five common mistakes made while job hunting takes effort, but it’s not impossible. Become the employee companies wish to see, and good job offers will come.