Job Search Pitfalls–How to Avoid or Blast Past Them (Part 1 of 2)

If I told you that job search pitfalls lurk around every corner and will leap out to grab you when you least expect it, you might think I’d been drinking something I shouldn’t! On the other hand, what if it’s true?

Just kidding, but the reality doesn’t lag far behind my outlandish statement. You can run into a problem at any moment during your job search. That’s especially true when you fail to take that possibility into account in your job search plan.risk maze

You DO have a plan, don’t you? If not, you’ve already hit your first pitfall! Think about the risk you incur when you forge ahead with no plan in mind.

Sample List of Job Search Pitfalls

I came up with 10 items that show only the tip of the pitfall iceberg. For the sake of brevity, I’m breaking this post into two parts.

  1. Lack a clear focus or goal other than getting “a job.”
  2. Share TMI (Too Much Information) in your career marketing documents (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, executive bio, and more).
  3. Apply for positions where you lack several key requirements.
  4. Depend on getting responses from online job boards.
  5. Avoid active networking like the plague (see #4).

Avoid or Blast Past Job Search Pitfalls

job search pitfallsLet’s take a quick look at the five pitfalls listed above and actions you can (and probably should) take with regard to them:

  1. Establish a clear job goal–one you know you fit well. At least narrow your search to a reasonable spread–such as the industry or type of company you want to join. “A job” does not represent a realistic goal. Moreover, it will not take you where you need to go.
  2. If inclined to write a four-page resume or a two-page cover letter…DON’T! In fact, slash your wording sharply if you’re tempted to come close to that. Employers need to see your value message fast. You don’t have a huge amount of time to catch their attention.
  3. Although you can apply for a job where you lack a key requirement, you need to offset that lack with enough value in other important areas to attract employer interest. When you fall well short of what’s asked for, you face a steep uphill climb. Don’t kid yourself about your prospects unless you think you have nothing to lose by trying.
  4. In most cases, job boards waste the time and effort you put into them. Not only are they a 100% passive job search method, but their ROI (return on investment) ranks dismally low. Invest your energy elsewhere.
  5. Build an active network if you don’t already have one or nurture the one you have if it exists. Then work that network to ensure your connections know what you’re up to and what you aim to achieve with your job search. They can’t help you if they can barely remember who you are and have little reason to care what happens to you.

Your Assignment Is…avoid job search cliff

I think that’s enough to get you started. I’ll wrap up the list in my next post, which I plan to publish shortly. In the meantime, I urge you to think about the points I’ve shared above. They could help you run a tighter and more successful job search as you focus on moving forward. In other words, you can use them to make sure you sidestep the job search pitfalls that could lie in wait for you, by making wise choices.

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to read an earlier post titled “New Year Career Tips: 2021 vs. 2020.” It could give you some good ideas.

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