9 HUGE Job Search Mistakes

Published in CareersConnect, November 2010

By Pete Leibman

Is your job search making you feel like this?

9 HUGE Job Search Mistakes

Whether you are looking for a job because you are out of work or because you dislike your current job, a job search can be a very stressful process if you go at it the wrong way. Are you making any of these nine job search mistakes?


1. You have the wrong mindset. Stop blaming the economy for your career doldrums! Over 90 percent of the country IS employed, and using the "economy excuse" is not going to get you hired any faster.

2. You lack focus. You may think you are helping your cause by being interested in any job you can get, but desperation and lack of focus are two huge turn-offs for potential employers. In addition, being too flexible will make it harder for your contacts to help you find a job because they won't know where to refer you.

3. You have not enhanced your sales tools. Your résumé should focus on prior results and achievements, not on responsibilities. You must also take control of your online identity (i.e., your profiles on social networking sites and what comes up when someone "googles" you).

4. You do not have a compelling story. While quantitative results are important, employers also want someone with a qualitative example for why he or she wants to work for a certain company. If you can't think of a story that shows why you are perfect for a certain job, that might be a sign that you should be looking elsewhere.

5. You do not have a job-search strategy. Running a job search without a strategy is like running a company without a business plan; you are much less likely to succeed and much more likely to get frustrated. Spend some time and map out your plan of attack for finding work in your ideal industry. Enlist some friends/family to help with your plan.

6. You do not have a system in place to track your progress. It is easy to get frustrated during a job search if you feel like you are not making progress, so you should create a spreadsheet to track all of your efforts. Refer to this document daily to make sure you are following up appropriately with all of your leads and contacts.

7. You are not leveraging your existing network and resources. Make sure all of your supporters and contacts know what type of job you are looking for, and ask them if they know anyone you can speak to for advice.

8. You are not getting in front of the real decision-makers. Stop wasting time on job boards, and stop reaching out to HR and recruiting directors! They are responsible for weeding out candidates, not for making hiring decisions. True hiring decision-makers are usually behind the scenes. The only way to find them is to talk to as many people as possible in your selected field.

9. You are under-performing in interviews. It takes a lot of work to get to the interview stage, so you definitely want to be at your best when it counts the most. Walk into the interview well-prepared to show why you want the job and why you are the best person for it, and you will be much more confident and convincing.

Searching for a job can be a frustrating process. However, if you develop the right mindset, stay focused, design a plan of attack, and execute that plan, it is only a matter of time before you will have your dream job!


-Pete Leibman


Pete Leibman is the Career Expert and President of Idealize Enterprises. To read more of Pete's articles, visit the Idealize Enterprises blog at IdealizeNow.com. The author can also be contacted directly at Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

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