Everyone has their own bad habits—but are yours affecting your job search? There are a number of poor choices candidates can make during their job search that, if they aren’t careful, can become habits. We’ve talked about numerous mistakes recruiters can help you avoid, but anyone can make an isolated mistake and correct it for the future. It’s when these mistakes become repetitive that they become truly problematic.
If you’ve been searching for some time without success, it may be time to reassess your strategies and whether they’ve been helping or hurting you. Identify where your search is grinding to a halt, then make sure you aren’t in possession of any of these seven bad job seeking habits:
- You don’t set goals. Some days you apply to so many listings you feel as if every corner of the industry is in possession of your resume; others, you barely check the listings to begin with. Setting goals and being consistent is the only way to ensure you’re moving forward with your search, especially if you have a habit of procrastinating.
- You use a generic resume/cover letter. It’s one of the oldest job search adages, but hasn’t been repeated so frequently over the years for no reason: you must tailor your resume and cover letter to the position you’re applying for. Each role has its own specific qualifications, and since you need to keep your resume and other materials as brief as possible, you should be reorganizing them to highlight your best skills and features in response to each position’s needs.
- You don’t adjust your approach. If you’re not receiving calls for interviews or not getting past the initial interview stage, you should take stock of what you’re currently doing and what you think the issue is. If you simply stick to one approach, such as applying only to online listings, you’ll be likely not to see results—especially if you’re perpetuating an already faulty strategy.
- You have a negative attitude. No, the job search isn’t easy. But if you keep a negative outlook on the process—such as assuming you won’t get a job or that there’s nothing out there you’re interested in—you could self-sabotage. In fact, there’s a growing pool of scientific evidence suggesting that positive outlook often results in better career success in the long- and short-term.
- You expect employers to come to you. There’s a reason networking is such a hot topic amongst career experts: it works. Getting out there, making connections, and saturating the industry with your resume and credentials are great ways to get noticed and earn yourself a position; uploading your resume to a job board and waiting for someone to find you is not. Be proactive and you will likely be rewarded for your efforts.
- You’re applying aimlessly. No matter how long you’ve been out of work, don’t send your resume to every job listing you come across. Though you may think you’re doing yourself a favor by getting your information out, one of the biggest pet peeves of hiring managers is the number of irrelevant resumes they receive for each position. Like with networking, be sure to be tactful and focus on the quality of your applications rather than the quantity.
- You’re disorganized. It cannot be stressed enough that organization is key in a job search. Being disorganized can lead to a number of huge faux pas, from sending in the wrong cover letter to applying to the same job twice. Avoid these embarrassing and often costly mistakes by reading up on our tips to organize your job search.