Spending Too Much Time on Your Job Search. 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!)
Spending Too Much Time Online. 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!
Not Having a Support Network. 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 résumé writer, career coach, or even a mental health therapist can be a valuable part of your support network.
Not Engaging Professionals to Help. Speaking of résumé 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!
Not Asking Others For Help. When someone asks you for help in their job search, you willingly offer it (if you’re able), don’t you? So why is it that we’re so reluctant to ask others for their help when we need it? People like to help other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. But make sure you’re asking for the right kind of help. Ask specific questions: “Do you know anyone who works for Company XYZ?” “How did you get your job at Organization ABC?” “Would you mind helping me practice my interview answers?”
Only Applying for Advertised Jobs. Research shows that up to three-quarters of job openings are never advertised publicly. Many of these are filled through employee referrals and word of mouth. And sometimes, you can apply to a company for a job that doesn’t even exist yet. Yes, companies do create jobs. Sometimes they will meet a candidate and not have a current opening that would be a match. In that case, they will sometimes create a new position that takes advantage of the candidate’s knowledge and experience.
Networking The Wrong Way. Second only to not using your network at all is using it incorrectly. Your network is comprised of all the people that you know and also all the people that they know. Don’t just think that because you don’t personally know anyone who works for Company ABC that you’re out of luck using your network. Ask the people you know who they know. But remember that networking requires relationship building and relationship management. If you haven’t talked to someone for five years, don’t let your first contact with them be, “Hey, can you help me get a job at your company?” Author Harvey Mackay has a great book on this: “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.”
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