Are You Making these Job Search Mistakes?

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Many of you are engaged in the daily struggles of the job search. In summer, the stress tends to intensify as it appears that a lot of companies slow down the hiring process while they vacation. Have no fear! I received my first two jobs in the summer months and found that it helps to persevere, even when feeling frazzled.


I think this article is helpful in realizing that there is much you can do to improve your prospects. Even if you think you’re putting your best foot forward, chances are you may be overlooking something. Rather than growing frustrated over a lack of employment, do something about it.


Common mistakes include sending a generic resume to each company. I’ve seen these problems among many professionals and recent graduates. If you have one resume, you can build on it to send to various companies. You may want to change your objective depending on what type of position you’re applying for. I also suggest changing your job descriptions and making sure you use ‘action’ words. Many resumes appear lackluster because the word choice is poor. If you haven’t had someone else look at your resume, try it. You can ask a trusted peer, mentor, or even a professor you liked.


I always seek the advice of people who’ve been in their field a long while. Most say that job seekers aren’t eager enough, or don’t know how to go about landing the job correctly. If you send out a myriad of resumes and don’t get any response, it’s easy to give up and assume there’s nothing you can do differently. I suggest finding a personnel manager at each company that you can contact. If you don’t want to bug that person with too many phone calls, then try sending a concise email explaining who you are. You might not get any result the first time, but at least you will know you went the extra step.


One mistake that I often see is new graduates trying to find a ‘better’ position and not wanting to settle for a job as an administrative assistant or coordinator. That’s the wrong attitude! My first job was as a communications coordinator and it’s the best year of experience I could have received. I learned how to do many things, which in turn made me more marketable. Most people don’t land a dream job right out of college or graduate school. Trust me, patience and perseverance pay off.


Have you made any of these mistakes along the way? If so, I hope you’ve learned from them. Please add a comment to describe your experience.


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  • Ishwer
    Ryan your post is right on the money. I am the parent of a rnecet college grad who graduated with a degree in Performing Arts Management, or essentially a business degree. Your excerpt on  wrong turns are okay  is helpful. She was employed rather quickly by interviewing with a university for a position as an admissions adviser. During her agony over whether to pursue this opportunity or stay the course in pursuit of her degree she consulted with me. We looked at this opportunity as a learning model. Her ultimate goal is entrepreneurial but this opportunity afforded her a chance to learn valuable skills such as listening, needs based selling and team work. The position pays well and offers benefits. Since starting this position in September she has begun her business on the side hiring her own intern to help her develop a client base while she works to learn new skills.So are there ever wrong turns when starting out? I think all is a valuable learning experience. When we get too hooked into our idea of what  should  happen we may miss a valuable opportunity to grow and learn. Great post Ryan.
  • Bukurie
    Hi Ryan,Your advice is good.  Today, more than ever, it's your network that brings the recommendations and referrals that will get you a job that helps you on your journey to the dream.Another piece of advice is:  Don't post your social life on Social Media.  Employers today, whether the HR recruiter or hiring manager, will check you out on Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter and others.  It's easy   go to Google and type in your name. Any pictures   whether personal or otherwise, that show you in the light of drunken craziness, or scantily clad, will cause you grief in your efforts to secure a job, whether it should or not!Demonstrating Social Media savvy is a plus for most jobs, and can reflect travels, expertise, even family reunions.  But keep the  funk' off of social media.  It can harm your chances of getting hired now, and will definitely become more important as social media becomes more prevalent.Great post!

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