More job search pitfalls? Yes, here we are with Part 2 of the two-part article. The time has come to wrap up the “top 10” list of pitfalls I mentioned in my previous post. (Note: I can’t start the following list with #6, so I’m labeling each one at the end of the line.)
- Ignore the current use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes. (#6)
- Fail to do your homework/research and prepare thoroughly. (#7)
- Skip the quality control aspect of your job search. (#8)
- Ignore your network except when you urgently need it (see #5 in Part 1). (#9)
- Surrender to discouragement instead of reaching out to those who might be willing and able to help. (#10)
How to Handle These 5 Job Search Pitfalls
So how can you deal with these “more job search pitfalls” that might sneak up on you and block your path to ongoing career success?
- Most companies now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen candidates. You must know the likely impact on your resume and play by those rules. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a resume that markets you well–you can and should!
- You have zero excuse for not doing the research to gather information. Some info can be tough to get, but do whatever you can to compile what you need for a well-run job search. Company research can yield a lot of material online and offline. That includes preparation for productive interviews.
- On the other hand, you can delay your job search indefinitely by making mistakes that sideline it! Quality control boosts your job search success by avoiding or minimizing missteps that brand you as a careless (or clueless) job seeker. As the saying goes, “Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over?”
- Networks function best when they receive proper care–attention, nourishment, frequent check-ins, and so on. Unless you are a household-name kind of person, you probably don’t carry huge cachet just by breathing and letting people connect with you. You need to take actions that will make you a familiar and welcome presence in their email inbox or phone messaging system.
- Pride sometimes prevents people from asking for help when they need it. Don’t be one of those! Moreover, it’s a kind of false pride–thinking that you are (or should be) above the need to depend on others. Result? You blunder on with your troubled job search until you experience deep discouragement and an urge to give up.
Where Do You Go from Here to Avoid the Pitfalls?
If you want 2021 to look a lot brighter and better than 2020 did, you have no real choice. You must…I repeat, must…prepare to master any job search pitfalls you encounter and prevent as many of them as possible from occurring at all.
You need both a master job search plan and a Plan B (alternate version) in case something goes wrong. Among other things, this includes a realistic view of what could go wrong–not will but might. It also requires at least an estimate of worst-case scenarios–a “what if” assessment with some ideas about actions that could help offset the challenge.
By all means adopt a positive attitude. That can fuel your energy for the long haul, as needed. Use it to counterbalance any negative thoughts that pop up. Just don’t rely on it to replace smart thinking and action–you need those!