The original article was first published on Recruiter.com!
Your job search shouldn’t look anything like the movie, “Mission Impossible.” Although it is full of strategies, pivots, and disappointment, it requires focus. There are measured efforts to obtain a meaningful result–getting hired!
How you go about your job search says much about who you are as a professional. We can argue about how closely related our personal and professional personas are. Still, at the end of the day, I can assure you most companies and hiring managers pay careful attention to how you act during a job search–it plays a huge role in their decision to hire you (or not).
Unfortunately, your job search efforts can self-destruct quickly. If you engage in the wrong behaviors, you’ll do nothing but harm your chances of landing a job.
Here are fifteen ways in which you may be sabotaging your job hunt right now:
1. You’re Moaning, Crying, Whining, Complaining, and/or Begging
Now and then, I see job seekers use LinkedIn and Twitter to beg people for a job. Usually, their cry is to no avail.
Imagine an employer lands on your page and sees a post like this: “All I ask is for someone to tell me what I’m doing wrong!” No one is interested in hiring a desperate person.
To paraphrase a Pink Floyd classic, “Don’t hang on in quiet desperation.”
2. There’s No Depth or Breadth to Your Network
Your connections must be by design, not by accident.
Building depth into your network means fostering relationships with people at all levels in your industry – team leaders, directors, general managers, vice presidents, etc. Building breadth means connecting with colleagues and peers because of their potential value.
Remember: It’s okay to connect with people you don’t know. It’s critical if you want to build a deep network.
3. You Limit Your Use of Social Media
Some assume posting about their professional lives and industries will make them seem self-absorbed. Or they worry no one would pay attention anyway. But you need to offer your followers some value on social media. You’ll be the last to know if you aren’t valuable to your social media connections.
You obstruct your job search if you don’t look for ways to foster conversations with people who could potentially lead you to a hiring manager or recruiter, whether directly or indirectly.
So go ahead – use social media to foster those conversations. It won’t make you seem self-absorbed; it will make you valuable.
4. You’re Not Doing Anything to Hone Your Craft
You still need to hone your craft when you’re out of work – or not working in your desired field. If you’re in public relations, you should be writing. If you’re trying to pass the Illinois bar exam, you should study. Even professional athletes train during the off-season. Professional development at scale is a lifestyle necessity and self-investment necessary in 2023.
Volunteer work is another great way to hone your skills. There are organizations in your area could use your career-relevant skills.
5. You’re Not Staying Vigilant
Opportunities can arise anytime and anywhere. If you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss chances. You should always be ready to present yourself as a great choice. You never know when you’ll meet someone who can help you.
Reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, and connecting with others regularly are fundamental to remaining vigilant in your job search.
6. You’ve Become Envious of Your Competition
You should know what your competition is doing, but you shouldn’t outright copy them.
Envy drives some to plagiarize content from competitors or attempt emulation of their presence. It’s okay to draw inspiration from your competitors, but you can’t copy their brands. That’s not authentic and won’t give employers an accurate look at who you are.
7. You Can’t Adjust to the Peaks and Valleys of Your Journey
Success and failure both contain valuable learning opportunities. Many of us don’t want our lessons to come at the expense of failure, but it’s often the best way to learn. Similarly, we often desire to taste immediate success without realizing true success takes time.
The job search is often turbulent. You will face success and failure in equal measure. You must be agile and able to switch gears whenever necessary.
8. You Have a Hard Time Saying ‘No’ When You’ve Gotten Far
It sometimes happens when you’re deep in the interview process, an opportunity once looked great may turn out to be unattractive. Are you afraid to say “no” in these situations?
Consider it similar to being physically attracted to someone whose values are contrary to yours. It’s best to end the relationship before there’s a serious emotional investment.
9. You’re Impatient
Not only are you unwilling to wait for results, but also you leave others exasperated after every interaction. Relationships only become mutually beneficial over time. You’ll likely have to give a lot before getting a little.
10. You Think Grammar Isn’t a Big Deal
People scrutinize every message and social media update. Companies desire people who communicate well both orally and in written form.
11. You Don’t Understand Character and Branding Are One in the Same
It’s good to see more job seekers are serious about personal branding these days. However, it’s also dismaying many are not careful about what they say and post. Your character and professional brand are the same.
12. You Solely Rely on Job Boards
You’ll be disappointed with the results if you’re using job boards to find jobs. The most successful job seekers diversify their efforts, using networking, research, informational interviews, and social media to advertise themselves and find new jobs.
13. You Don’t Ask for Help
I understand how hard it is to let close friends and family know you’re looking for work or a better job. You don’t want to appear as if you have failed.
But you should realize everyone understands your situation. It’s 2023, not 1986 when you could find a new job in a week or two. You might be surprised by who your parents, siblings, cousins, or best friends know.
14. You’ll Take Anything
You may say or feel way, but it’s probably not true. You probably cringe whenever someone suggests a job you know you’d hate. And besides, people will back away from you as soon as they sense your desperation.
15. You Entertain Bad Advice
We are lured by what is easy to do instead of by what is most productive. When people start their advice by saying, “All you have to do is … ” it is time to run. The successful job search in 2023 is not about achieving immediate satisfaction. You must be ready to grind.
If you want your job search to succeed, get out of your house and meet people! Attend speeches and lectures. Hit the gym! These things will keep you sharp and ready for your next opportunity.
If you become too dull, you may leave the wrong impression on people who could help you get a job. That’s why conversations and research are your best friends in the job search!