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Perfect Resumé Career Blog

5 Biggest Job Search Mistakes

August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

From Kent Lee, CEO of Perfect Resume

In life, sometimes people make mistakes without even realizing it. This is especially true when it comes to looking for a job.

Here are some common pitfalls many of our clients make every day.

Mistake 1: Using a generic resume

I speak with clients all the time who use the same resume for every single job they apply to. This is a huge mistake.

Generic resumes don’t work because they don’t clearly explain how you are a great fit for specific jobs. The best resumes are always tailored and customized for specific opportunities.

That being said, you don’t need to have a completely different resume for every single job, either. But each resume should contain content directly related to the job description of the position you are applying for.

Mistake 2: Applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for

It surprises me how common this problem is. Many people either don’t understand how to read job descriptions or they just don’t take the time to read them closely.

When reading job descriptions, look at the requirements section first. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, don’t waste your time applying for that job.

In any given week, I’ll have a handful of clients send me jobs they are interested in, when they clearly do not meet the minimum requirements listed on the job description.

While it may seem obvious, don’t fall victim to this common mistake. Focus only on the jobs where you at least meet the minimum requirements.

Mistake 3: Only applying to jobs online

Having a successful job search means having a successful job search strategy.

And if all you’re doing is applying for jobs online, that is a very poor strategy. There’s so much more you can do, and it all starts with people.

Sometimes you may get so caught up on looking for work, you end up focusing on just the job. Instead, put some of your focus on meeting and connecting with new people.

Why? Because people hire other people.

Start building your professional network. Use LinkedIn. Attend networking events, and connect with people who might be able to help you.

Mistake 4:  Playing the blame game

If you’ve been unemployed 6 months, a year, or longer, it’s time to take a step back and recognize that there’s a problem.

The big issue here is that after a bout of unemployment, people often start playing the blame game. They say, “The economy is terrible” or “No one will hire me because I’m too old” and “I keep hearing I’m overqualified.”

These are just excuses. The real problem is almost always one with your resume, your professional network, or your job search strategy.

When you find yourself thinking these thoughts, don’t play the blame game. Instead, take a step back and ask yourself:

  • Am I using a tailored resume?
  • Am I getting the most out of LinkedIn profile and my professional network?
  • Am I using a balanced approach between applying to jobs and networking?

Mistake 5: A poor attitude, not being open to change

Einstein once said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Quite frankly, many job searchers act crazy.

If you’re having trouble, do something different. Be open to the idea that you may need some help. Maybe you need a new resume, maybe you really need interview coaching, or maybe you to learn and better use LinkedIn.

The key is to not let a poor attitude get in the way of trying something new, getting some help, and approaching your job search with new tools or a new strategy.

Use these tips to avoid making the top 5 mistakes we see clients make in your job search.

If you like what you learned or have a question, leave a comment below. Subscribe to our newsletter to get helpful tips and advice each and every week.

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