13 Big Mistakes Job Seekers Make And How To Avoid Them

Wanberg says job seekers tend to make these kinds of mistakes because they don’t always have the help and resources they need to conduct a successful job search. “A lot of unemployed people go into the process without talking to people or researching effective methods for finding a job,” she says. “For instance, many people are not aware that they need to diversify their approach.”
She stresses the importance of using different search methods, including networking, online searches and making phone calls. “Sticking to one method is one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make,” she says.
Last August, Wanberg, Zhu and van Hooft won the 2011 Academy of Management’s Human Resources Division’s Scholarly Achievement Award, an annual distinction the Academy gives to the authors of the human resources article, published in recognised journals and research annuals, that it deems most significant.
More recently, Wanberg and van Hooft teamed up with Gokce Basbug of MIT and Archana Agrawal of TheLadders to follow up on the topic. They conducted a qualitative study on job search demand and wrote an in-depth paper, titled “Navigating The Black Hole: Explicating Layers of Job Search Context and Adaptational Responses,” which will be published later this year.
Here are the 13 big mistakes job seekers make, and how to avoid them:
1) Taking too many breaks from the search, particularly after making progress.
It’s OK to take the occasional breather, but don’t allow yourself lengthy breaks every time you make progress. “Don’t rest on your laurels after posting a job application or getting an interview,” Wanberg says. “Keep your effort going!”
2) Not dedicating enough time to the process.
Almost 44% of job seekers spend less than three hours per day looking for a new position, yet, research shows that people who put more time into their job search find jobs sooner, Wanberg says. “If you are unsure about what to do next, visit your local workforce center, read a job search book, peruse the internet for tips, or talk to others for advice on how to increase and expand your search effort.”
3) Letting emotions and frustration get the best of you.
Looking for a job can be grueling and emotional, but there are ways to stay calm. “Make sure you are exercising daily, eating right, and that you have a good support person to talk to,” says Wanberg. “When you have a bad day in your job search, try to get together with a friend or family member and do something fun together.”
4) Putting all your eggs in one basket.
Even if you are extremely confident about a particular job opportunity, don’t devote all of your time and energy to one potential position. It’s best to continue your search efforts and pursue several jobs while you wait to hear from your preferred employer.
5) Failing to bounce back from a day without progress.
Stay positive and motivated. “Make a daily to-do list,”Wanberg suggests. “Treat your job search like a sales job. Remind yourself daily about the things you have to offer an employer. Believe in yourself.”
6) Getting distracted by errands, household tasks and child care, and leaving too little time for the search.
Wanberg suggests you establish a routine. “You might spend the morning checking for new job openings and researching companies, and the afternoon on networking or planning networking activities, and following up on any openings you’ve applied for. Keep household tasks for evening as if you were working full time. See if you can swap child care with another family member to allow you to have uninterrupted time.”
7) Failing to get help reviewing your resume.
You might think your resume is flawless, but chances are you’re wrong. Have at least two or three people review your resume for spelling errors, irrelevant information, and skills you haven’t profiled.
8) Not diversifying your job search.
Some people rely solely on online job postings; others depend only on networking. Find a balance. “If you are not a very social person, ask yourself if you are spending too much time in front of your computer,” says Wanberg. “You need to be contacting people you know and going to business socials or events. Have you contacted your university alma mater? It is really helpful to meet with alumni from your university in your field. If you are a person who is very social, you may need to spend more time researching companies and looking at online postings and hiring trends.”
9) Failing to tailor your resume with relevant key words for each job application.
Customising your resume is crucial. A tailored resume tells an employer that you’ve done your homework and you’re serious about the job. If you’re not sure how to do this, use the internet or ask a friend, former colleague, or career expert for help.
10) Jumping into a search with expectations that are either too specific or too broad.
Approach the job search with an open mind, but set some boundaries for yourself. “If you apply too broadly, you will waste a lot of time on applications that will not yield interviews,” Wanberg says. “Companies want applicants who closely fit the job posting. On the other hand, if you apply too narrowly, you will not find many jobs to apply for. It is a tricky balance to learn.”
11) Becoming isolated from friends and family because you spend too much time searching for jobs.
Build in some social time every week, advises Wanberg. “Your networking meetings will be a part of this. However, it is important to schedule something with friends or family because you are not seeing coworkers every day. This can get isolating.”
12) Forgetting to include occasional breaks for personal or social activities.
It’s important to take breaks for social activities and personal time, but limit yourself. Frequent and long breaks can destroy your chances of finding employment.
13) Rushing into the process too quickly.
Do your homework. “Looking for a job is a process that has a big learning curve,” Wanberg says. “Talk to others who have been in your shoes about lessons they’ve learned and mistakes they’ve made. Consult job search books or go to a job search class.”

[Source: www.forbes.com]

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