5 Small Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Job Search
Have you been looking for a new job longer than a month? Longer than three months? Six months or more? Perhaps you can’t quite figure out why you aren’t getting calls for interviews or any responses to the resumes you have been sending to companies. What if the problem is…YOU? Read below to discover ways you may be putting a halt to your new job opportunity—before you even land it!
You haven’t updated your resume in over five years.
Maybe you have had the same job for that entire time—or at the very least—you have worked for the same organization for those years. You NEED an updated resume to make an impact in today’s job market. Even if you have had the same job for more than five years, chances are that you held different job titles and duties during that time. Outline that information on your resume and show your progression within the company. Resumes have changed a LOT during the past few years; this should be the first (and most basic) step as you begin your new job search.
Applicant Tracking Systems aren’t in your vocabulary.
If you don’t understand how an ATS works, then you will have a very difficult time getting through online application processes. Each job posting has a section called skills, qualifications, or requirements. It is CRITICAL that your resume matches as many of these key words as possible. Do NOT just send the same resume to hundreds of organizations. Be cognizant of the words and verbiage the company is utilizing in the job posting. And, then, be sure that you list these as your skill-sets on your document. Without matching these words, your resume will be swimming in the online application abyss—never to be reviewed again.
Your email address leaves something to be desired.
Are you still using your old college email address? Do you have an email address that says something similar to ‘foxylady’ or ‘footballfanatic’ in the address itself? While it’s okay to have fun with your email address—for family and friends—it is NOT okay to do that during a job search. In fact, it can come off as downright unprofessional. The best advice is to open a specific (Gmail preferably—it is the most common platform and has the least challenges with varied systems) email address just for your job search. Use your first and last name (or some combination of it) when setting this up – it’s just one more time that the company sees your name during the hiring process.
Job hunting has been online only.
While it is true that you will be applying for a new position online, it is also true that people find jobs through other people. Do NOT simply sit behind your computer and peruse the job boards day-in and day-out. You may get lucky and find the perfect opportunity. But consider that you can easily scan through the job boards once a day and then use your other time to connect with actual people in your industry. Which do you think makes more sense?
You aren’t organized or haven’t followed-up.
Did you know that the key to success in so many areas of life is simply following-up? Most people choose to forego this important step. Did you get an interview with a company? Send a thank you note. Have you tracked where you have sent resumes and when you sent them? It’s vital that you are organized during your job search and follow-up with people. Did someone mention a potential job opportunity during a recent networking event? Call that person the next day and thank them for telling you about the job opening and ask them next steps to be considered. Following-up is not bothering people—it is being persistent and smart with your contacts.
Looking for a new job can be challenging. Why make it even more difficult by hurting your own chances for that next opportunity? Be savvy, determined, and professional as you make your next career move. Remember that YOU are your greatest asset during your job search—advocate for yourself and be bold as you seek your next job adventure.
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, owner of Feather Communications, has been working with job seekers since 2008 to develop forward-thinking, eye-catching, and dynamic resumes for today’s marketplace. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and has written thousands of resume for clients in a variety of fields. Dr. Rothbauer-Wanish has a BBA in Management, an MBA, and a PhD in Organization and Management.