Last week, we discussed eight mistakes job seekers make during their searches. Unfortunately, there are a lot more pitfalls we would like to help you avoid. As a result, this week we’re offering eight additional things to watch out for. They include:
- Forgetting that people hire people,
- Getting frustrated,
- Putting all your eggs in one basket,
- Not spending enough time on your job search,
- Spending too much time on your job search,
- Spending too much time online,
- Not having a support network, and
- Not engaging professionals to help.
We forget that people hire people.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the technology in a job search. How to make your resume ATS-friendly (meaning, helping it get through the Applicant Tracking System software that many large companies use). How to use LinkedIn in the job search?
Don’t forget that ultimately, people hire people. Connecting to the right person at a company can make the difference between getting hired, and not even getting a response to your application.
We get frustrated.
The average length of time for a job search has steadily increased over the past few years. In a recent RiseSmart survey, 40 percent of hiring managers report conducting between 3-10 interviews before extending a job offer, and nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said their hiring process is three weeks or longer. So don’t be discouraged if it takes days … or weeks … to hear back after applying or interviewing.
Your search time could be less than the statistics suggest if you are in a field where demand is unusually high or the supply of trained and qualified workers is extraordinarily small right now. We know, for example, that healthcare workers are in short supply because of the Pandemic, and our aging population.
Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
“But this is my dream job!” While that may be true, you will have a better chance of getting a better job if you don’t rely on a single opportunity. Wouldn’t it be great to have two or three job offers to choose from? That’s only going to happen if you diversify your job search. Apply for multiple positions — even a couple you think you wouldn’t necessarily accept. You never know — you might learn in the interview process that it really is your dream job — or the company might even create your dream job for you, once they know what you have to offer them.
A job club I led included a member that habitually focused on one lead at a time for several meetings. He became frustrated and stopped attending, despite our best efforts to help him move forward.
Not spending enough time on your job search will result in missing opportunities.
You’ve probably heard it said that looking for a job is a job in itself. That’s true. Yes, some people will hear about an opportunity from a friend and get hired (sometimes without even applying). But for the vast majority of job seekers, you’ll have to invest time in getting your resume prepared, applying for positions, following up, and more.
Spending too much time on your job search can be a problem, too.
On the other hand, it is possible to spend too much time on your job search. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your job search and, the next thing you know, it’s 1 a.m. Remember, one of the best ways to find your next job is talking to people you know. So give yourself permission to “stop working” on your job search and hang out with your friends. (And maybe make some new friends while you’re at it!) Talking to people is part of the job of finding work.
Maybe it is okay to work until 1 a.m. if you’re accustomed to 80 hour weeks and long hours at your regular job. But, for most of us, working that way will lead to burn-out—not a new career.
Spending too much time online is another mistake.
It’s easy to think that a modern job search can be done entirely online. But it’s estimated that 75 percent of jobs are never advertised — so it’s likely that the job you want can’t be found while you’re sitting at your computer. Get out and talk to people you know! Meet new people!
It is possible in some cases to only land advertised jobs by “networking in.” For example, I did not apply for one job because the official announcement stated the position required one to hold a driver’s license—a credential I do not have. But when I spoke with the hiring manager, he invited me to apply, and he hired me.
Of course, in some employment sectors, such as government agencies, laws and regulations require hiring managers to follow requirements in formal announcements. It is important to know how your industry operates.
Not having a support network will slow you down.
A job search can be difficult. It can be stressful. It can be exhausting. You need a support network to help you through it. That can include not only friends and family, but also paid professionals who are there to guide, motivate, and encourage you. A resume writer, career coach, or professional counselor can be a valuable part of your support network.
Not engaging professionals to help may hamper your search.
Speaking of resume writers, career coaches, and therapists, one common mistake job seekers make is trying to go it alone. If you wanted to climb Mount Everest, you’d hire a guide. When you’re climbing the job search mountain, engage a “career navigator” to help you along the way!
The federal government funds employment programs to help with job search in every locality, so avail yourself of these resources, too. The programs where I have either worked at or where I have volunteered expertise have had dedicated staff that made every effort to help job seekers. So don’t go through job search alone even if you cannot afford to hire experts yourself.
Next, week, we will have additional job search weaknesses to discuss, with steps to avoid them.