3 Huge Job Search Mistakes (And How Fix Them)

By Annette Richmond - Resume Writer & Career Consultant

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Between those currently employed and those unemployed, there are a lot of people looking for a job. The biggest mistake many of them make is approaching their job search the same way they did 5 or 10 years ago.

They rely on the same techniques that worked a decade ago and rarely, if ever, monitor or evaluate their results. Huge mistakes.

Here are 3 common mistakes that can hinder your job search.

1 Focusing On Job Boards

The modern version of want ads, job boards should be one component of your job search. One component not the whole enchilada.

Unfortunately, most job seekers spend the majority of their time scrolling through job boards. It’s easy to understand, sitting behind your computer responding to ads gives you the illusion that you’re being productive.

The truth is you’re not.

Yes, allocate some time to browse job sites, but get out of the house as well. If you’re actively looking schedule at least 2 events a month, if you can do 1 a week even better.

When you go to networking events always take the long view. While it’s unlikely that you’ll meet someone with an open position, you may run into someone who knows someone who does.

2 Not Having A Plan

It’s important to have a comprehensive job search plan. Combing the job boards should be one component.  In person networking should be another. But don’t stop there.

Open your eyes and mind to new ideas.

Create a list of target employers. Follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter, like their Facebook pages. Set up a Google alert on each of them so you’ll know when they’re in the news. Review the open positions listed on the company site. Try to network your way in.

Complete your LinkedIn profile. Post the Summary section you’ve been meaning to write for over a year. Join groups on LinkedIn and get involved in the discussions. Put out a status update at least a few times a week.

Sign up for Twitter and get active there too. There are thousands of recruiters on Twitter and it’s an easy place to interact with them. Try taking part in a Twitter chat.

3 Not Evaluating Your Progress

Once you’ve developed a plan periodically evaluate your progress. Keep track of how much time you’re devoting to each activity and what, if any, results you’ve seen.

For example, if you’re not getting enough traction from attending 2 networking events a month, step it up to 3 or 4 events. Maybe try going to different organizations.

If you’ve applied to 100 jobs without any response take a look at your resume. On the other hand, if you’re getting contacted for interviews but not moving forward it may be your interviewing skills.

To be effective you need to have a multipronged job search strategy. You need to develop a detailed plan that includes a variety of activities and a schedule for completing them. Keep track of what’s working and what’s not and adjust your plan as necessary.

Annette Richmond, principal of career intelligence Resume Writing & Career Services, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, career consultant, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Monster, Vault, Business Insider, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Her work was selected for Resumes For Dummies (August 2015). 

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