Technically, there are hundreds of ways to sabotage (literally) a job search campaign, but for the purpose of this discussion, I will restrict myself to three common mistakes most job seekers make that keep them unemployed.
Over the past few months, I have observed a steady and measurable increase in the number of candidates finding “meaningful” employment opportunities. This is certainly a refreshing change from the horrendous unemployment stories we have heard since the 2008 Financial Debacle. Though positive, the outlook for the economy is still volatile and everything that goes into a job search campaign must be perfected to the nth degree.
As an experienced career coach and resume writer, I would rate the following four factors as being critical in determining the success of any job search campaign: Demand-supply dynamics, a candidate’s background, quality of resume, and job search strategies.
With this introduction, I rate the following job search mistakes as being unequivocally disastrous:
1. The “I-hunt-from-my-recliner” strategy
Don’t get me wrong. I love my recliner, but I liken any passive job search campaign to the “I-hunt-from-my-recliner” strategy. A job seeker who does not incorporate active networking into his portfolio of job search strategies is, most likely, a passive job seeker.
Making “connections” is the key to securing valuable face time with hiring managers. From career fairs to networking tools offered by online job boards, there is absolutely no scarcity of networking avenues for a serious job seeker.
2. The “My friend just found a job, his resume will work for me” strategy
As a part of my free resume evaluation service, I review thousands of resumes and often come across needless “resume fluff,” verbiage that does nothing more than fill, nay waste, resume space with hyperbolic adjectives. Copying portions of someone else’s resume or simply pasting content from online resume samples will not produce results.
Viewed from a hiring manager’s perspective, that is simply “lazy writing”. You might as well put your resume in a bottle and hope that someone at the other end of the shore will pick it up and call you.
Powerful accomplishments, career stories, branding statements, and other cutting-edge resume writing strategies could transform an ordinary resume into a masterpiece, one that positions you as the perfect solution for the employer’s needs. In fact, in today’s cut-throat environment, your resume must be so powerful and compelling that the hiring manager must start day-dreaming about having you as the next employee.
3. If you don’t measure results, you are wasting your time
Analytics are not just for businesses. Every time you post your resume, make a determined effort to track and measure results. How many views did your resume generate? How many calls did you receive? Which strategy is producing the best result? Which version of your resume do employers find more appealing? How many hours did you spend on your job search? How many calls did you make? Get the point. Track your job search activities meticulously and make appropriate changes as you move forward.
It is imperative that you assess, reassess, tweak, and perfect your job search campaign dynamically. While you may not be able to control market dynamics, there are several areas that are absolutely within your direct control.
Have you overcome making these top three mistakes that keep you unemployed? Share your tips in the comments!
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Finding a job it is a profession by it’s own this days! 😉
The three reasons you pointed out are so true. Sitting back on your heels, using a generic resume, and not using metrics are definitely culprits in the lack of success many job seekers are getting these days.
I’d also like to add that it’s extremely important to use keywords in your resume. Use the job post as a roadmap for what the employer is looking for. Then make sure to add keywords from the job description in your resume. This will make you look like a dream applicant AND get your resume past any applicant screening software. Many times people don’t take advantage of keywords and wonder why their efforts are unfruitful.
Thank you, Bill. It is true — keywords are very important. In addition to using the right keywords, they must also be placed strategically throughout the resume.