30 Things You're Doing Wrong When Looking for a Job
If you’ve been looking for a job without success, you may be doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result – no response, no email, no call back, no interview, no job.
Are you experiencing the 'black hole' of online applications?
It can be so frustrating, time consuming and soul destroying not to make any progress at all. Then you may start to think that there is something wrong with you. Next that little voice in your head says, “You’ll never get another job, no-one will hire you again.”
Well, I want you to stop that little voice right away. That little voice is not going to help you. What you want to hear is, “There must be a better way and I’m going to find it!”
“There must be a better way and I’m going to find it!”
It was Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin or Mark Twain who said, “The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.” I'm not sure who actually said it (and if anyone knows then I'd love to find out!) but the point is that if something is not working, then do something different!
"The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result"
Here are some of the things you may be doing wrong:
- You don’t believe in yourself
- You don’t really know exactly what you want or can do
- You are not sure of the career values that drive you
- When people ask what you want, you can’t tell them succinctly so they don't know how to help you
- You’re sending out the same resume for every application
- Your resume is a list of responsibilities
- You’re sending out a generic cover letter
- Your LinkedIn profile summary does not project you towards your desired goal
- You are only using online job boards and you keep feeding 'the black hole' and wondering what’s wrong with the system
- You keep waiting for the recruiters to call you back
- You don’t really know how to work with recruiters
- You think networking is a waste of time
- You haven’t researched the relevant people in your target market
- You haven’t reached out to the relevant people in your target market
- You don’t really know what to say if you were to reach out to your target market
- You haven’t identified what makes you valuable
- You don’t know what your target market really needs
- You haven’t analysed what you’ve got that your target market needs
- You haven’t documented your tangible accomplishments to prove you’re good at what you do
- You haven’t created a marketing plan to keep you on track
- You go to interviews thinking that you can ‘wing’ it
- You don’t know what to say at the end of the interview
- You don’t know what to ask during the interview
- You don’t know what to wear that will be appropriate for each interview
- You don’t know how to follow up
- You haven’t researched your market value
- You’re not confident to negotiate for what you are worth
- You don’t know how to make the first 90 days in a new job work for you
- You are not taking care of your health
- You are not taking time to relax during the job search
This list could go on and on, and there are so many things you could be doing differently. Now that you're aware of what you might be doing wrong, are you going take action to improve upon your situation?
Over the last 15 years I’ve coached over 1,000 clients through their career transitions and I'm asked the same questions over and again:
"What can I do to get another job?"
"What am I doing wrong?"
As everyone has different needs, different aspirations and different values, I adjust my approach for each person to ensure that his or her concerns are heard and understood and then I tailor my approach and the process they must take for success.
It’s Time to Take Ownership of Your Job Search
What my clients realize is that they must take ownership of their job search rather than rely on recruiters to do it for them; rather than rely on the advertised roles found on online job boards. Of course online job boards and recruiters have their place however the bulk of their efforts must be spent on research, preparation, targeted efforts and finding out from their network of connections where they will best add value.
"Organisations have problems. Be the solution to their problems. That's where your job is waiting."
Perhaps there isn’t a job specifically for that problem (just yet) and you won’t know until you have the conversation with the person who is a decision maker. It doesn’t matter whether the decision maker is an Office Manager, a CFO, an Operations Director, the Head of Procurement, the Regional Sales Manager or a Team Leader. For you, the hiring manager is the one who knows what problems need to be solved and is the one who will make the decision to hire and get the wheels in motion to bring someone (preferably you once you've demonstrated that you are the solution!) on board. It all begins with an exploratory conversation.
Get in front of a decision maker! You've heard about the ‘Hidden Job Market’ – by reaching out and networking effectively you will find it.
If you’ve been stuck in the job search process for a while now and you are losing confidence, momentum and drive, now you know what you can do to change your approach and generate different results. Take the path to success.
Jane Jackson is a career management coach, podcaster, speaker and author of #1 Amazon Australia (Careers) bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads: How To Thrive When Changing Direction (The OMNE Group 2014).
Jane coaches executives globally to discover their true passion and direction and guides them to create satisfying and rewarding careers. She is on a mission to make careers guidance accessible to all and is loving the journey.
Jane’s work features in The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Women’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan Middle East, CareerOne, Women’s Fitness Magazine and numerous other print and online publications.
Visit janejacksoncoach.com for more career tips and free career resource downloads.