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Are You Sabotaging Your Job Search?

4 ways you could be hurting your chances...

by Janna Kefalas in Job Search, Networking, Resumes

When you’re spending untold hours each week job searching, you never want to think that you might actually be sabotaging your efforts. But in working with clients, I’ve seen many of them fall into the same bad patterns. Without even realizing it, they’re spending too much time doing the wrong things in their search.

Be honest, are you guilty of some of these unhelpful job search habits? (No shame if you are! But there’s a better way.)

#1 – You’re Casting Too Wide a Net

It’s totally logical to think that the more types of jobs you’re open to, the greater your likelihood of landing one. But if you search too broadly, your branding (as a candidate) will seem all over the place.

Instead of showcasing your most relevant skills, your resume and LinkedIn profile will scream, “Look! I can do EVERYTHING!” This will l undoubtedly confuse potential employers who will be more inclined to focus on candidates who demonstrate their fit for the specific role at hand.

So make sure you’re zoning in on one or two related job titles at a time and create a resume and LinkedIn profile to support that.

#2 – You’re Sending Off the Same Resume for Every Job Application

Even if you’re focused on a specific position — let’s say Account Manager, for example, you still don’t get to fire off the same resume for every Account Manager role you come across. (Aww, I wish it were that easy…)

That’s because using the same resume for every application may prevent it from making it through the applicant tracking system. The ATS is scanning for specific keywords (based on the job description), and if you don’t have enough of them included on your resume, it might get lost in the proverbial black hole.

So take the time to customize each resume to the job description, paying close attention to those relevant keywords. Yes, it’s a pain. And yes, it makes a huge difference!

#3 – You’re Not Focusing Enough on Networking

In a previous blog post I talked about stepping away from your computer and getting out and networking with people. And that’s definitely a critical component of your job search. But you can also network online using the best networking tool of them all — LinkedIn!

Since you’re anywhere from 5-15 times more likely to be hired as a referral (according to Jobvite), building relationships with employees at companies you’re interested in can be a powerful way to get your foot in the door.

Online and offline networking with a targeted list of people should make up 50% of your job search strategy. (That means taking a break from those job boards.)

#4 – You’re Trying To Do It All By Yourself

Job searching alone can feel utterly confusing, isolating…and just plain no fun! You may find yourself constantly questioning whether your resume or LinkedIn profile are making the right impression. And scrolling through endless job postings may cause general malaise. Also, it’s hard to prepare those tough interview questions when you’re a one (wo)man show.

So, join a job search community, get help from a career coach (like me!), or at the very least talk with others about your job search so that you can get the guidance and feedback you need.

Wrapping it Up

As you can see, you could be sabotaging your job search without even realizing it. But by taking some key actions, such as: getting laser focused, using a customized resume for each role, leveraging your network, and getting support, you could nab that great job even quicker.