10 Mistakes Job Seekers Make … and How to Avoid Them

| September 16, 2010 | 4 Comments

Many people make significant job search mistakes and never even know about it. These blunders are easy to make…and can end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve,”  reveals these top 10 mistakes, and explains how to avoid them.


Mistake #1: Responding to Online Job Postings

In general, job postings and “want ads” produce little value. However, it is also a mistake to ignore them altogether. Some of the best chances for jobs from ads are in specialty trade publications and web sites of specific industries. Myers suggests spending no more than five percent of your valuable time on public job postings.

Mistake #2: Mailing Unsolicited Resumes

Unsolicited resumes are considered garbage, scrap paper and wasted effort. Secretaries kill them, HR managers file them away, and hiring decision-makers pitch them. Myers advocates abandoning this job search tactic completely.

Mistake #3: Looking Only for Job Openings

Searching for companies with “openings” is an obsolete job hunting method. The best jobs are never “vacancies” or “openings.” Rather, more than 40% of positions are created for the applicant, oftentimes at the interview. The key is to shift your focus from “openings” to “opportunities” (which exist nearly everywhere).

Mistake #4: Ineffective Networking

Networking should be the primary focus of every job search. However, Myers finds that most people go about it the wrong way – by talking too much and asking for jobs. The best networkers are listeners rather than talkers, have a clear agenda, and are not shy about asking for feedback and guidance. Remember that networking is more about giving than it is about taking.

Mistake #5: Leaving Yourself Open to Many Kinds of Jobs

Another key to a successful job search is to focus on finding the RIGHT job – not “just any job.” Critical factors to consider include satisfaction, growth potential, location, cultural fit, great co-workers, a pleasing environment and competitive compensation.

woman on computerMistake #6: Being Unplanned in Your Search

Most people spend more time planning a vacation than planning a job search. Myers suggests the following tips to conduct a proper job search: a well-thought out methodology, daily solitude and planning, space in the home dedicated to the search, and a system for accountability.

Mistake #7: Doing it Alone

You pay a mechanic to change your oil; an attorney to create an estate plan. Why would you not invest in professional help with your job search? Career coaches provide objective guidance, help you “think outside the box,”and provide a proven system for job search success. Many offer excellent advice on salary negotiations – often exceeding the job seeker’s expectations.

Mistake #8: Letting Others Control Your Job Search

Of course, it is best to conduct your own research and target the right companies yourself. Remember: only you can “sell yourself” effectively and land a job. However, Myers suggests working with a small selection of professional recruiters – they can serve an important role in your search. But you’ll need to maintain control over the whole process.

Mistake #9: Not Preparing Well Enough for Job Interviews

When you boil it down, all job interviews are comprised of five basic elements: articulating your value, conveying your knowledge of the company, asking intelligent questions, negotiating compensation, and following-up. Each of these items has to be practiced in advance so you can “ace” the job interview. “Winging it” just won’t do!

Mistake #10: Not Knowing Your Market Value

You must research and assess your value in the marketplace before you attend a single interview. Never disclose your salary requirements – always get the employer to name the salary or range first. The time to talk money is when the employer has made it clear that you are their top candidate, and after they make an offer.

“It is very easy for even the savviest of job seekers to make these mistakes. By learning how to navigate these potential pitfalls from the outset, your job search will be more productive and yield more positive results,” adds Myers.

For more information and other useful tips for achieving career success, visit http://www.getthejobbook.com.

Copyright (C) 2010, Career Potential, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it includes the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve.” Download your free bonuses now at http://www.careerbookbonuses.com.

About the Author:

Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. His firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Ford has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. His articles and interviews have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, and he has conducted presentations at numerous companies, associations and universities. In addition, Ford has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs across the country. He is author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve. More information is available at: http://www.getthejobbook.com and http://www.careerpotential.com.

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  1. Walter Slavin says:

    If you’d like to learn more about Working From Home Jobs then check out the link!

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  2. Yamaha Lover says:

    Great detailed info, I just bookmarked you on my google reader.

    Sent via Blackberry

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  3. Water Container : says:

    there are so many online jobs that you could apply for, some pay well and some does not.”~

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  4. Indoor Grills says:

    it is important to throughly evaluate the qualifications of professional career coaches before hiring them

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