5 Steps to Keep Your Job Hunt Moving Forward

October 28th, 2011

Even in a job market that’s notoriously difficult to crack, experts say many candidates sabotage their search by making common job-hunting mistakes.  Are you guilty of any of these?

Passive, not active. It’s not enough to submit your resumes to a handful of online job postings and wait for a response. Sitting at home and waiting for a call will likely get you nowhere. Instead, be an active participant. Work your network and expand it wherever possible. Keep updating your skills. Learn more about what the job market is looking for. Most important, if you get a lead on a position, don’t sit on it! Be ready to respond with a professional and clearly written email and/or follow-up telephone call.

Holding out for the ideal job. You may have in mind a job that’s perfect for you, but the real world doesn’t necessarily work that way. If you pass on job openings that don’t completely fit your search criteria, you may never get called in for an interview. Remember, whenever employers post an open position, they get hundreds of responses. Look more closely at openings that you may be suited for and take the next step. Better to do well in a “not-perfect” job right now and keep searching for that dream job later.

It’s all about me. Job experts note that many candidates think first about what an open position can do for them, rather than what they can do for the company that’s hiring.  Big mistake. You want to know what need you can fill with your particular skills and experience, not what perks or privileges the job may or may not include.

Looking too close to home. Chances are, the job you want isn’t going to be situated around the block — or even within a few miles of your home. Consider open positions that require a longer commute or even full-scale relocation. Opportunities are out there, if you adopt a more flexible mind-set.

A job is a job is a job. A front desk receptionist in one business may be nothing like a front-desk receptionist somewhere else. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the position, without understanding more about the business offering the position. These days it’s easy to research companies online, so you’re better equipped to explain — by resume and/or interview — how you can best fit their needs.

You’ll find that by following these steps and thinking active, rather than passive, you’ll generate more energy and focus in your job search.

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