10 Most Common Job Search Errors

And what to do to fix them

Rely on your own personal experience and philosophies

Most job seekers base their job search methods and techniques completely on their own set of experiences. It will only serve to limit your options.

Think like a marketer. Marketing professionals do not design their product ads based on their own personal preferences; instead, they test and use approaches that appeal to a wider audience. Job seekers must learn to do the same.

Being too closed-minded

In fact, this is closely related to reason number one. Most of us find it difficult to step outside our comfort zone and embrace new and / or alternative ways of doing things. This attitude only serves to limit our job opportunities. Do not rely on your own personal experience and philosophies, study instead and discover other methods that open up new career opportunities for you.

Only use one or two CV versions

One or two resume versions just don’t work. Do not trust a sample. I have written extensively on this topic and my central message is that you have to “get inside your head” by the reader of your resume. The best clues to how to tailor your resume come from the actual language of the specific job posting you may be responding to.

If you provide a resume to an employer on an exploratory basis – when they may not have specified a specific job – check their site to see if you can find information about the areas of your specialty and use that language. If you still can’t find information on the employer website in such cases, take the most common ad language content from 10-20 job ads, which you can find and use the most common words, phrases and ideas.

Relying on the big job boards

There are no best job search sites or top leading job search sites. Only approx. 10% – 15% of all jobs are advertised on the best job boards at some point. This is where your competition is the toughest.

That makes 85% to 90% of all jobs less visible. You have to learn how to find them. Even among the 85% – 90% of the vacancies, only a few are listed anywhere, except possibly on the employer’s own career sites. You need to learn which online job search engines to use that search most of the employer websites from one place.

Lacking proper research by potential employers

The question is not why you are investigating potential employers, it is how you are investigating potential employers. You need to look into any potential employer that you are pursuing. They expect it and will almost always ask you for it.

A good method to use is to find something that you found interesting about the employer, which hopefully can be related to your own job interests and skills. Make sure to bring it up during the interview when asked and if you are not asked, look for a way to introduce it in the conversation discussion.

One potential way to do that is when asked if you have questions. You may want to repeat what you read in a summary form and then ask them for more information about it. This shows your interest and desire to learn more.

Failing to prepare properly for the actual interview

Interview preparation tips can be invaluable. One such tip is to perform that there are three types of interviews that job seekers meet that are most common and you need to be prepared for each one or a combination of them. One is the more traditional one, which usually follows the format of your resume.

The second type of interview is behavioral and this one has become very popular with many employers. It is more difficult to prepare for this type of interview, so the best way is to understand how to answer behavioral interview questions.

The third type of interview is the case interview, where you get either a real or hypothetical work situation and are asked to discuss it with the interview team. These types of interviews are common for consultants, attorneys, but getting at least one mini-case question these days is very common.

Failure to invest enough money in yourself

With the arrival of the Internet and all the information easily accessible to us comes the attitude that we never have to pay for anything. This usually bears its ugly head for a job seeker when they are reluctant to pay for more expert advice and access to more effective tools and techniques that help us not only in our job search but also in our careers. Most people spend more on eating out than they are willing to invest in their careers. You need to be willing to invest in yourself not only in advancing your education, but also in getting career advice.

Putting too much emphasis on pay too soon

When is the last time you bottomed out of bed eager to get to your job because you earned x amount? You are not likely to feel this very often.

Most of us enjoy our work because of what we get to do, what we can learn and where our careers take us. Of course, we all want to be compensated fairly and competitively. But not being willing to explore a career opportunity because the first question we ask is, “how much does it pay?” is completely wrong headed.

Finding out the opportunity first, both in the long and short term, so understanding how it may not fit your long-term career goals is simply short-term.

Does not have a long-term career vision

This fetches the previous error. If you do not know what direction you want your career to lead is like a sailboat under full sail without any man rudder. You just end up wherever the wind takes you.

You need to have a longer-term vision for your career so that the decisions you make along the way take you where you want to end up.

Don’t be open to new opportunities all the time

Now you’ve got a good job and your mind completely shifts away from looking for a job. Generally, it is as it should be, up to a point.

When the headhunter calls, or a colleague calls you for a career opportunity, the first words out of your mouth are, “I’m not looking or I’m happy where I am?” Both of these statements are true, but you should at least be open to exploring the opportunity or hearing more about it. While it is not time to make a change or the job is not right, be open to suggesting colleagues who can benefit from hearing about the opening.

Often the best opportunities come to you and without a lot of other competing candidates.

Fails to build career network 24 x 7

This is critical. Build your networks constantly and consistently so that when you need professional information or career guidance or help with a job search, you have a valuable network to trust. It’s the concept of digging yourself well before you’re thirsty.

LinkedIn is the most valuable network to do so. Join relevant groups there and contribute to the discussions. You build your own reputation along the way. It’s like setting up a goodwill savings account so you can cash in when needed. The rule as number one is to give first before asking for anything. That way you have “cash in the bank” to use when you need it at short notice.