Hints and tips on how to not make the same job hunting mistakes over and over

The man in action!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

Looking for a new job is full-time occupation on its own; if you are currently looking after a career break or maternity leave, I know how time consuming and frustrating it can feel. However, there are some common job hunting mistakes that people make over and over again. Here is my top six and some tips on what to do differently. How many are you doing right now?

1.Not reading the job description properly.
In a job advert you will often see a list of experience and skills the company want you to have. How many times have you not applied as you don’t have everything on that list? Usually the ESSENTIAL skills are the ones that are a HAVE to have. Anything else is desirable; not a deal breaker. Read the language of the advert to decipher. Anything that is written as “Must” is essential, “Could” is optional!

2. Being limited by salary
“I’m not experienced enough to ask for that salary”; is this something you say to yourself? Or, they are not paying me enough (without considering the progression opportunities, distance travelled or other benefits). Money is a common mind-set issue; your current or previous salary doesn’t define what you are entitled to now. Put yourself forward for the role; don’t rule yourself out before you have even applied.

3. Led by job title
The title “Account Manager”. What industry is this relevant for? What do you expect the duties to be?
If you were sitting with me now, I imagine the answers would vary; Advertising, Marketing, Sales, Recruitment, Finance or Logistics are just six off the top of my head.
When you are looking for a role, think of your other search criteria (location and industry are my recommendations) and review all that fit these boundaries.
When I think of my last company, my job titles Regional Coordinator, Business Development Manager and Placements Manager all had shared duties and required similar skills.
Just think that over. What have you passed up because the title is wrong?

4. Not using your network
The word “networking” can bring on feelings of nausea and panic; however, I am one of many that love it. It is about relationships, contacts and friendships.
Plot out all the people (friends, family and colleagues) that you feel comfortable approaching about your job search. How many people do you think they might know?
You may have read before about the “hidden job market”. Approximately 80% of roles are never advertised! Tell them you are looking; ask them if they know anyone hiring! It doesn’t stop there though; make sure you follow up on anything speculative. Don’t assume a silence is a “No”. It may be a “not right now”, or even an “I didn’t get that email, send it to me again!”

5. Hiding away your social proof
Are you on Linkedin? Is your profile up to date? If not, how come?
Do you write; have you got a blog? Is this link on your CV and Linkedin profile? In not, why not?
Recruitment is becoming more and more social; you have a great opportunity to show a window to you who you are through these tools. If you haven’t already (after you have finished this article of course) go and update your Linkedin profile and find three colleagues to connect with and ask for a recommendation. Start showing the world how good you are. There is an expectation that you will be found online; make your profile shine!

6. Holding back on your skills and experience
When you write your CV or complete an application form, do you include EVERYTHING? What about volunteering, relevant hobbies (like the blog in point five), any additional studies or self-employment? This is especially relevant if you have had a career break away from traditional job setting. This not only demonstrates the range of skills and you have, it shows your values and personality too. Employers don’t want to employ a two-dimensional piece of paper, they want a person! Show this to them using the STAR technique.

How many of these did you tick off? Hopefully these fixes will motivate you to try new approaches to your job search. It can take time; don’t be disheartened but stop doing the same thing over and over again … don’t forget what Einstein said!

Let me know how you get on!




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