8 Sure-fire Ways to Screw up Your Job Search

Published in CareersConnect, May 2012

By Matt LeBlanc

There are as many ways to find a job and over my career in helping people do just that I believe I have seen just about all of them. On the flip side, there are as many ways to screw up a job search. The following is a list of eight of the most prominent ways to do so.

1. A Recruiter/Employer Knows Before He or She Even Posts a Job Opening That You Are Going to be one of the First to Apply
I think if most recruiters are being honest, they know exactly who is going to apply to a position before they even post it. In fact, a recruiter friend of mine recently told me that he was hesitant on broadcasting a role because he was starting to feel bad telling the same people "no" every time they applied.

2. A Recruiter/Hiring Manager Knows Your Phone Number as Soon as it pops up on Caller ID
Congrats! You have moved from candidate to stalker. I would lay off of the following up a little bit and give the recruiter/hiring manager a bit of time to make decisions and move the process along.

3. You are Not Easily Found Online
If you are looking for a job, your information needs to be findable on LinkedIn, through Google, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on the job-boards (even if you just post a confidential résumé). Recruiters are hunters, you are the prey, and if you cannot be found you are going to make life much harder for yourself.

4. You Think Your Résumé and Ability to Interview are Second to None
There is not much I can say here other than a reality check is needed.

5. You Have Not Worked on Growing Your Network
This is a simple rule to remember: Either network or don't work. The reason that so many people say to network as part of your job search activities is because it works!

6. The TV and/or Internet is Your Best Friend
Turn off of the TV, get out from in front of your computer, and re-review number five.

7. You Have Not Worked to Keep Your Skills Current
One of my favorite questions to ask is, "What are you doing to keep your skills current and up to date?" and I am always shocked and appalled by the number of times I hear "nothing" or complete silence. Your skill-set is a living, breathing thing. If you don't feed it, it will die.

8. Your Phone Feels like You Have Deserted It
Go back and review number five. If you are not working the phones, you need to review your whole job-search strategy.

Hopefully none of these eight things apply to your search, but if any of them sound familiar, a review of how you are conducting your search should be had (like, right now).

Until next time—good hunting and good luck!

About the Author

Matt LeBlanc is a human resources professional based in Nashville, Tennessee, with expertise in full life cycle technical recruitment, sourcing, research, training, and workforce and career development. He writes about job search/career-related issues on "Recruiters Guide to the Universe" and recruiting/sourcing-related issues on "12recruiters." You can connect with Matt on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/mattleblanc and Twitter at www.twitter.com/matthewjleblanc. 

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