Past IssuesJanuary 10, 2011
3 Signs You're Sabotaging Your Job Search
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Diligent job seekers spend hours creating resumes & cover letters, searching through job postings, reviewing classifieds and networking -- all in order to get an interview. Yet most of them don't know what to do when they get one! When the job market was booming it took an average of 3 interviews to get 1 job offer. Now it takes 17. The key is have a great interview, where the interviewer actually pictures you doing the job.
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On your first pass in front of the eyes of a hiring manager, you have less than 30 seconds to impress them with your resume. Career professionals like to call this the "applicant black hole." What many people don't realize is that they aren't even getting their resume into the hands of hiring managers for reading! What can you do to avoid the black hole?
Well, for starters, you need to realize that it isn't your skill-set or your accomplishments that are ruling you out, it's your resume! A self-written resume has a 6% chance of being read. A professionally written resume has a 60% chance and generates 2-3x as many interviews as a self-written resume. Job Seeker Weekly has arranged a special deal with TopResume and is offering free resume evaluations. Get your free-resume critique from an experienced resume writer!
3 Signs You're Sabotaging Your Job Search
By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Greatresumesfast.com
Wish someone could guarantee you'd get a new job in 2011?
I talk to a lot of people who have gone through a job transition during the last few years. Although most people agree both the economy and the job market are tough right now, I sometimes wonder if people really grasp just how challenging things are for a lot of people. There are some common themes among those who seem to be sabotaging their own job searches:
YOU THINK YOU CAN DO IT ALONE
It amazes me how many people have been out there looking for a job for quite a while--either full-time or while already working--who have never asked anyone for help. Granted, some people just don't have the resources to hire a resume writer or job coach, but there's no excuse for anyone to be sending out resumes that haven't been proofread by at least two other people. Even people who don't proofread professionally are likely to pick up errors that you're missing--simply because, as professional editors will tell you, "you're too close to it." Additionally, job seekers should at least sign up for a "free resume critique" with a professional resume writing firm.
If you think the interview process is where you're getting tripped up, ask an honest friend or colleague to conduct a mock interview with you. You may be doing something seemingly insignificant--like nervously laughing between answers--you're just never going to realize on your own. And take it one step further--videotape your mock interview; that will give you an opportunity to see yourself as others do.
TURNING DOWN OFFERS
If you already have a job, then you're perfectly justified in turning down a job offer that doesn't seem like an upgrade. However, if you've been out there looking for a while, you should have a very compelling reason for turning down a job that's offered to you. If you think about your friends who are currently employed, many of them are working fewer than ideal hours, doing more than one person's job, or making less than they'd prefer. And you know what? They're generally really, really thankful to be employed at all right now. It's better to take a job that offers 85% of what you're looking for than to hold out for a "perfect" job that may never come along.
TALKING ABOUT YOUR JOB SEARCH TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH
I know someone who couldn't find a job for nearly two years after finishing his M.B.A. program. While that was clearly a very stressful time for him, he made the mistake of broadcasting his job search woes across his Facebook account several times a week. Over time, this behavior cast him in a very negative light among his social network--exactly the people who might have been helpful to him if he'd handled things differently. On the other hand, I know people who have been so embarrassed by their unemployment they never said a word about it--which also completely negates the possibility of receiving help from a network.
If you've been out of work for a while and can't figure out what's going wrong, take a moment to consider whether you're appropriately asking others for help--and whether you have realistic expectations about what's available in the job market right now. It may be that a small adjustment is the next step in making your job search successful!
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. She has written hundreds of articles that are featured on some of the best career advice Web sites today. In addition, her writing has been included in Launch pad, a career search strategy guide featuring exclusive information by the top career experts in the industry.