Ten Common Job Search Mistakes

  1. Failure to use a variety of job seeking methods. Your job seeking should include:
    • Targeting only companies and industries that appeal to your interests
    • Developing a list of companies which will potentially advance your career and contacting them directly
    • Researching the senior decision makers within these companies and determining how to get past their gatekeepers
    • Networking with your friends and contacts
    • Spending significant time researching companies on your list, using multiple sources
    • Becoming proficient in the “art” of informational interviewing
  2. Failure to plan and organize your campaign. Each week and day should be planned, with time devoted to all facets of the campaign. Make a to-do list each day!
  3. Failure to keep thorough records. You need to detail your search campaign, keeping accurate records, particularly of everyone with whom you speak. Include dates, times and exactly what was discussed.
  4. Failure to maintain a positive attitude.  Work to make a friend of everyone you meet.  Put out positive energy to all people you meet during the campaign. All contacts are valuable, even though some may be better than others. Do not try to figure out which are better. A seemingly unimportant contact or a contact that seems less than friendly might be the one that yields the job. Treat everyone with warmth and courtesy and ask for their advice and ideas.
  5. Failure to work at maintaining positive self-esteem. You have special talents with much to offer and you need to put energy into understanding your main focus – a career advancement opportunity.  Tell yourself, "I don't qualify to be permanently unemployed and I will get the right job if I stay focused and believe in myself!
  6. Failure to accomplish what you planned for the day or week. Get on with your to do list each day! Don't procrastinate or waste time on unproductive activities and don’t feel sorry for yourself.
  7. Failure to spend enough time being active and making contacts. Productivity in your campaign will depend on your activity level. You need to make contact with other employed people to unearth good leads! A big mistake unemployed people make is hanging around with other unemployed people.
  8. Failure to prepare ahead of time for an interview. Most people do not spend time correctly preparing for interviews.  Research everything about the company, study old notes from relevant classes and review all past success and accomplishment in your career relevant to this position for your interview.
  9. Failure to maintain your attitude and appearance. You should work to be mentally and physically fit. Your job search campaign should be a good combination of work, rest, exercise, and play. The average length of time it takes to obtain employment used to be estimated at one month for every $10,000 you earn annually, according to the US Department of Labor.  They now estimate it may take 2 to 3 times longer to acquire a good career offer at the executive level.  You need to invest time in finding the right job and remain positive the entire time! (See “Our Successes” for our client’s employment statistics).
  10. Failure to maintain good grooming and personal appearance. Even when dressed informally, thinking you will not be meeting anyone, you may bump into a potential employer. First impressions are really important!