Archive for April, 2013

5 of the Biggest Mistakes Job Seekers Make

April 11, 2013

While a rosier global economic forecast may still be a few months away, smart job seekers are taking control of their career now, and wisely implementing simple procedures to increase their chances of finding a new job.

Good news is, it’s surprisingly simple to take control of your career right now. In addition, what’s really cool is that once you put these procedures into place, your job search will take on a new energy, even during times like these.

Which is why I’m sharing these FIVE simple tips to help you get a handle on your job search now, so you’re aware if what works best as you conduct your job search.

1) WhatPass / send out a resume that is not totally effective

  • Your focus / target is missing or unclear
  • Your skill set is missing or incomplete
  • Your key words are absent or might not be the most effective ones
  • Your uniqueness, accomplishments or successes are weak or are missing completely
  • Your resume isn’t formatted so that it is easy to read and that information flows well
  • Your resume has misspelled words
  • You’ve used a template and it looks like everyone else’s

Why:    If your resume is not a “10” you are hurting / killing your chances of getting calls for interviews, no matter how great your skills and accomplishments are. You only have 15 – 20 seconds to impress the reader and be considered for the “keep” pile. If your resume isn’t great, you’re just not going to be in the handful of people chosen to interview.

facepalmI know this might seem harsh, but I want to make sure you know the truth. In these economic times, you have to take special care that your resume stands out, or you don’t stand a chance of being called for the type of job you want.

I want you to have every opportunity to get calls for the job opportunities you want, so I am offering you a complementary resume critique. Just email your resume to me and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I would love to hear from you!

 2) WhatSpending most of the time in your job search on job boards, because you feel you are  “doing                something productive”

Why:    Job Boards are really quite ineffective. Everyone goes to the Job Boards so you have tons of competition. While you might feel like you’re really doing something, what you’re doing is very ineffective and your job search will just drag on and on.

I have clients tell me “I don’t think my resume is working. I’m not getting any calls for interviews.”  I always ask them what they have been doing in their job search, and they say “I’ve been going to all the job boards and posting my resume for any position that remotely fits”  DUH – only 2 – 3% of job seekers get called to interview from job boards. With those numbers, is that how you want to spend most of your time? If you want results, you must spend your time on job search activities that bring abut much higher results.

3) WhatView professional help with your resume and cover letter / career coaching as an expense, not as an investment in your career.

Why:    Why should you view having a professional work with you during your job search? Let me tell you about one of my clients. In February of this year this person came to me thoroughly disillusioned after searching unsuccessfully for a job for the past two years. I reworked her resume and coached her on how to conduct a job search. She called me two weeks later, and told me she had two job offers from two different companies – doing work she loves at salaries she deserves.

So, how did this drastic change come about?

  • She came to understand the value she brings a new employer & how she can affect their bottom line
  • She felt confident she had a great resume that accurately reflected her value and know how to convey her value in an interview
  • She learned what job search techniques work and what don’t
  • She learned how to best prepare for job interviews
  • She was very clear about her skill set, her contributions and her value

When she had effective materials (resume and cover letter), the knowledge of what to do, and the confidence to go out and use what she had learned, she got calls for interviews. It works!

By the way, YOU are the product you are marketing!

4)  What:  Not having a carefully laid out job search plan to follow

Why:    It’s important to know all the channels to use in your job search, how to use them effectively, and how to fit them all in your schedule (how to prioritize them). You don’t want to have to take up valuable job-search time to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I can’t tell you number of people who initially choose to “go it alone” and end up spending valuable months in a job search that brings no results, before coming to me for help. Maybe some of you know someone like that.

Ask yourself – What Don’t You Know That’s Prolonging Your Job Search?

Let’s take a look at what it can cost each one of us to be unemployed during a job search, especially a prolonged one, or even underemployed in a job that is no longer challenging us.

If you’re looking for a job that pays $30,000 a year, you are looking at a loss of $2,500 a month, $577 a week, & $115 a day.

For a $60,000 a year job, you are looking at a loss of $5,000 a month, $1,153 a week, & $230 a day.

For a $100,000 a year job, you are looking at a loss of $8,333 a month, $1,923 a week & $385 a day.

For a $150,000 a year job, you are looking at a loss of $12,500 a month, $2,885 a week & $577 a day.

So, you can see the numbers are significant, no matter what salary you are expecting.

Imagine how wonderful you’ll feel when you get offered the job of your dreams at the salary you deserve

5)  What:  Not having a targeted position in mind.

Why:    Having some kind of target / focus in mind is critical when conducting a job search. Everything on your resume and everything you do in your job search should align with the focus you want. If you don’t know what type of job you want, how are you going to convince an employer of your value?

Employers don’t want to talk to people who say, “Oh I have lots of skills, there are plenty of jobs I can do.” That might be true, but you need to convey what particular job you want, how you have the skill set for that job and what value you would bring to the position – in other words, why they should hire you for that particular job over anybody else.

I often see “Objectives” on resumes that read: “A position where my extensive skills and abilities will be put to good use” What does this tell the reader about the position you want? This statement gives the reader no clue as to the type of position you are seeking.

6)  What: Not having a great 60-Second Commercial  (My bonus tip)

Why:    This valuable marketing tool provides a model to be used to for the question “Tell me about yourself” and is used for networking, phone, information and structured interviews.  It lets you hone in on exactly what you do and how to succinctly state the value you bring value to an employer – why they should hire you over others.