Job searches can be frustrating for many of us. You feel like your resume is going into the black hole in the HR department. You do not hear back right away after your interview. Or you do not know how long your job search is going to take, much less which strategy will prove to be the winner.
I have had career coaching clients get job interviews through LinkedIn, from posting their resumes on industry-specific sites, by applying to jobs online, and through the most successful way: networking their way into a job or organization. The key is to keep your strategy broad. Meaning, diversify your efforts just like you would diversify your investment portfolio. As I coach clients through their job search, I find there are common errors people make across the board without even realizing it.
Here are a few and how to avoid them:
1) Being too methodical: You see it as a step-by-step process with each step conditional upon the one before. Job seekers need to keep their options open. Until you have a written offer and a contract signed, your search does not end. There is nothing wrong with considering options or multiple openings and offers. No, you do not want to waste your time or theirs, but again a job search does not stop until an offer is signed and completed.
2) Not notifying your references: Each reference needs to be notified when you are providing their information. When you give out a reference’s contact information, you need to let them know each time. Explain what the job is about so that they know what they should speak to, should they be contacted. Their recommendation of you will come across much better if you prepare them, and they know what specifically they need to tell the prospective employer about you.
3) Including everything but the kitchen sink: Your resume should speak to the job you are applying for and that one alone. Do not include information that is not relevant. Seekers have a tendency to want to include everything just in case. This diminishes your case and diffuses your message.
4) Your voicemail sounds unprofessional: When I call my clients I listen carefully to how their voicemail message sounds and if it sounds upbeat, professional, and confident. There can be subtle differences between your tone, pace, and what you say. It can make a big difference in how you come across even in a voicemail.
5) The message you leave is not impressive: When you are in the position of leaving a voicemail for the human resources representative, the hiring manager, or anyone regarding a position you are applying for, prepare in advance. Write out what you will say to them if you get them live and if you get their voicemail. Scripting it out and saying it out loud will ensure you send a confident, positive message that is representative of the type of person they may want to hire.
There are so many possible mistakes job seekers can make and it is not realistic to account for every single one, so be patient with yourself. Take your job search step-by-step, and each week analyze your action steps and how effective each one was. Ask yourself what you can do to improve each one and over time you will have a very effective strategy that is second nature to you. Just break it down.
Guest Blogger Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of HallieCrawford.com. Her team of coaches help people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at www.HallieCrawford.com for more information about her team's career coaching services. Set up a Complimentary Career Strategy Session with Hallie Crawford to get advice on your career goals. *Mention you saw us on Talent Zoo and receive a free bonus if you purchase a product or sign up for coaching.*
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