Is Your Job-Search Approach All Wrong? Resources

On paper, you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do. You’ve been networking, updating your resume, writing strong cover letter, and applying for lots of jobs. So why haven’t you received any offers?

As Jobhuntercoach founder and CEO Arnie Fertig writes in a U.S. News & World Reports post titled “4 Tweaks to Rev Up a Stalled Job Search,” you may just need to adjust your approach slightly to correct for some common mistakes.

The first one that Fertig points out is the “I’ll do anything” mentality. When it comes to applying for jobs, “more” does not equal “better.” Don’t simply throw your resume at any posting that comes along. Employers fill roles based on very specific needs, and if you spread yourself too thin, you’ll do yourself a disservice and show a lack of respect for employers.

Speaking of lack of respect, Fertig also warns against approaching new networking contacts with emails or phone calls saying things like, “I just met you — can you vouch for me at your company?” When you ask someone to stick their neck out and endorse you, you’re essentially asking them to put their credibility on the line. Try to at least spend a few minutes talking with people and explaining why you’re someone worth recommending for opportunities. Also, offer to be of service in any way you can.

Fertig’s third no-no is trying to show interest in a company by applying to every single job it posts. It’s great that you’re excited about the place, but a lot of companies have application-tracker programs, and if you try for too many jobs, you’ll mark yourself as someone who lacks focus. Don’t be the “him again?” guy. Focus your efforts on the opportunities that best align with your skill set.

Lastly, Fertig advises against putting too much stock in recruiters to find you a job. Recruiters, he explains, work for companies, and a relatively small percentage of Americans actually find jobs through their efforts. While it can be beneficial to get to know a handful of recruiters who specialize in your line of work, these people won’t automatically solve all your problems and find you that dream job that’s been so elusive.

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