By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Debra Wheatman Many job search candidates spend innumerable hours pursuing employment opportunities; yet many do not achieve the desired results. Having worked with thousands of people trying to obtain positions of increased responsibility in their chosen industry or field, I have encountered the following common mistakes, resulting in failure to achieve optimal outcomes: No organized search strategy: You need a plan. Keep yourself organized with a list of things you need to do on a daily basis. This list will allow you to focus your efforts in the areas that require your full attention. Would you go to the supermarket without a list of things you need? If you do, I will guarantee you forget to buy something or purchase things you don’t need. Your job search works in a similar fashion. The list will allow you to plan for a successful campaign. No record keeping: It is important to keep a list or spreadsheet of some kind so you can review to whom you have sent your resume or the contacts made. There is no possibility of you being able to recall all of the companies or people that you have contacted – let alone those that may have contacted you. Without a record, you might miss an opportunity, or worse be unprepared when someone does reach out to you. Make sure you keep names, dates, and details of discussions you had. Your records will allow you to follow-up when appropriate and supports your organized approach (see above.) No use of diverse search methods: You cannot simply apply online and think the calls are going to roll in. A job search requires far more effort than the use of the Internet. The following must be done to ensure a successful campaign:
- Identifying specific companies where you might be interested in working. Once you have a list, you should do some research to get the name of someone internally to direct your correspondence.
- Conducting research regarding the names of people in senior level positions. Use trade publications and the Internet to uncover names of people. Trade publications can be a great source of information, including providing you with movement within your targeted industry.
- Leveraging your network of friends and family members. Your network should also include people you meet at local networking events. You will not be able to join every group so choose wisely. Engage with people that you meet to establish relationships that can be reciprocal.
- Identifying a few niche job boards where you can post your resume. You should not broadcast it on every board out there. You will look desperate.
- Establishing a relationship with a few key recruiters. Like any relationship, you will need to work at maintaining contact. Recruiters definitely know the market and have contacts within the companies where them make placements. You cannot work with everyone. Make sure you choose wisely; be prepared to conduct a fair amount of follow up to keep communication lines open.