Since there are plenty of obstacles standing in your way to a new job, it’s imperative to hone your approach. See if you’re making any of these job-hunting mistakes and fix them before it’s too late:
1. Not proofreading your résumé
The quality of your résumé is what forms most potential employers’ first impression of you and opens the door to job interviews. So it’s important to make sure it’s perfect. Whether you create one on your own or have it professionally prepared is up to you — just be sure it is 100 percent error-free.
In addition to making the paper version of your résumé perfect, make sure the one you send via email delivers without any messed up formatting or funny breaks. To create a version of your résumé that can be embedded in the body of an email, remove all current formatting by opening your résumé and saving it as a plain text (.txt) file — and remember to click on the box that says “insert line breaks.” Then, reopen it with the Notepad program. Be sure that all of the text is flush with the left-hand side of the document, and ensure that you have used only clear, easy-to-read fonts. Save that version and you’re done. Email it to yourself to review what it actually looks like when it arrives.
2. Becoming discouraged
Searching for a job can be difficult and lonely. You may interview with dozens of companies, never to hear from them again, and you may experience many unreturned phone calls as well. In the midst of all this adversity, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and an upbeat outlook. Becoming discouraged only works against you.
If you’re currently unemployed, you probably have some free time on your hands. Spend a portion of it to keep your attitude and outlook healthy. Stay in shape, stay connected to friends (and join networking groups), or learn new skills to add to your résumé. These types of activities can keep you motivated and reduce the amount of time you have to become discouraged.
3. Telling the whole world you’re looking for work
This is especially true if you’re currently employed. If your boss finds out that you’re thinking about leaving, he could potentially speed up the process by giving you the boot. The last thing you want is to lose your current position before you’ve found a new one. Keep your job search to yourself.
4. Using a singular strategy
If you want to find a job quickly, search for leads in every way possible. For instance, 36 million people used social media to find a job in 2011. If you’ve been ignoring that avenue, start checking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn regularly for job announcements. Checking job boards is also a good idea, but if you’re intent on working for a particular company, consider showing up in person. You may not land a job interview, but you’ll at least get your face in front of someone, which could lead to an opportunity down the road.