Tag Archives: Job Search Mistakes

5 Bad Job Search Habits That You Need to Break

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Nail biting. Interrupting people when they speak. Eating junk food. All of us develop a few bad habits over the course of our lifetime, and if we’re really alert, we’ll take note of them and work to break them. The same holds true in the job search. Jobseekers can’t help but pick up a few less-than-helpful practices, but success depends on breaking those habits and replacing them with healthier ones.

So what are your bad job search habits? Maybe you’re already aware of them. If not, allow us to list five of the most common examples. If you recognize any of these habits in yourself, it goes without saying that you should try to turn over a new leaf!

Bad habit: Being vague about what you want.

Say you’re at a party or a networking event, and you mention that you’re looking for work. “Oh, what kind of a job are you interested in?” someone might say. Don’t respond with something generic: “Well, I dunno, maybe something in marketing… or something where I can write… really anything that’s creative…” Nobody wants to hire someone so wishy-washy. It’s better to have a specific job search objective, and to be ready to voice it—like a well-honed elevator pitch.

Bad habit: Applying for every job you see.

Some jobseekers take sort of a scattershot approach to their job search, throwing out five or 10 applications every day to any and every open position they see. It’s almost impossible to truly follow up with such an all-over-the-place search, though, and being focused on applying for only jobs that truly fit your skillset and career objective makes more sense.

Bad habit: Using the same resume for every job.

This goes back to what we said about being generic. Each job opening calls for its own, precisely honed resume—one that highlights how you’re a good fit for that specific role. Having a few versions of your resume that you can choose from is invaluable.

Bad habit: Trying to be too creative with your resume.

Some jobseekers are constantly looking for new fonts, formats, or colors that can set their resume apart—but in the process, they are undermining their own professionalism. The best way to stand out is with a resume that’s organized smoothly and highlights achievements and core competencies clearly.

Bad habit: Not following up.

Applying for a job is one thing, but following up on an application is where the magic usually happens. If you’re not in the habit of routine follow up, it’s time to get there!

Another habit we recommend? Periodic resume tune-ups from the Grammar Chic team. You can start the process by giving us a call at 803-831-7444, or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Job Search Worries You Can Stop Stressing About

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Seeking new employment can be stressful—especially when you’re not already earning a paycheck somewhere. That stress cannot be totally mitigated, but perhaps it can be reduced. At the very least, jobseekers can stop stressing about the things that just don’t matter, saving their worry and their attention for the bigger, more significant issues.

In other words: Know what you should legitimately be concerned about, and what you can let go of. We’ll offer a few quick examples of the latter—four things that many jobseekers worry about, but really don’t need to.

Job Search Anxieties You Can Let Go

  • The occasional gap on your resume. While it’s certainly problematic to have a resume riddled with holes, a few short gaps here and there—especially ones in the distant past—are really nothing to fret about. Maybe you took three months off from your career to care for an ailing parent, or you took a sabbatical while you returned to school. An employer may very well ask you about these gaps, but all you have to do is give your explanation, and the employer will almost surely understand. It’s nothing to get hung up about.
  • Requests to contact your current boss. You may be asked if the hiring manager can get in touch with your current employer, as a reference—and you may prefer that this not happen. More likely than not, your job search is something you’d rather keep secret. The good news is, employers understand that, and declining this request is perfectly normal. Don’t hesitate to ask the hiring manager not to let the cat out of the bag with your current boss.
  • Jobs left off your resume. In the interest of telling your story, as succinctly as possible, you may want to omit a job listing or two from your resume—and that’s okay! Now, should you leave off a major job that leaves a seven-year gap on your resume? Probably not. But if you need to cut off your summer internship from back when you were 18, well, that’s not likely to be an issue.
  • An unwieldy list of references. You may have former employers or colleagues on your list who have since moved on, or even retired. Contacting them might be challenging—but that’s not really your concern. When a hiring manager asks you for references, he or she is only asking for your permission to contact those folks. The logistics aren’t your concern!

Another way to eliminate worry from your job search? Make yourself confident by getting a sparkling new resume. Start the process today by contacting the Grammar Chic team! You can reach our resume writing pros at 803-831-7444, or at www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Ways You’re Unintentionally Slowing Your Job Search

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Job hunting is usually not a very casual business: More likely than not, if you’re seeking a new job it’s because you desperately need or fervently want one, sooner rather than later. You don’t have the luxury of time, and you wouldn’t dream of doing anything that would slow your process.

Or at least, you wouldn’t do it on purpose—but what if you’re accidentally impeding your own progress, using job search strategies that slow things down rather than move things forward?

Strategies that Slow Your Job Search

We’ll show you what we mean. These are just some of the approaches that can add days, weeks, or even months to your quest for employment—in other words, strategies you’ll want to avoid!

Taking a shotgun approach to applications. Applying for every job you see may seem like a great idea, but actually it decreases, not increases, your odds of finding employment. That’s because you spend way too much time applying for jobs you’re not suited for or wouldn’t really want. It’s far better to make a targeted list of employers and to really be judicious about the companies you apply to, and then to pour more time and effort into those companies.

Sending generic resumes and cover letters. As you target specific employers, you’ll want to make sure your resume and cover letter matches, which means tweaking each one to fit the company you’re applying for. Generic resumes and cover letters are easy to spot and may make the hiring manager think you’re unserious about the position—which means your application is really just a waste of your time.

Submitting resumes that are way too long. For the vast majority of jobseekers, a good resume length is somewhere between one and two pages. There are rare instances where more than two pages is fine, but—unless you’re a C-suite executive or a PhD—you’re probably wasting time and turning off employers when you send them lengthy, rambling resumes.

Neglecting your LinkedIn page. Think social media is a waste of time? Think again. Most employers now do their homework online before they call you in for an interview—so if your profile isn’t optimized, you may be missing a lot of opportunities. Spending an afternoon tweaking your LinkedIn page can be a significant investment in your job search success.

To speed up your job search, move on from these unproductive strategies—and if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask us! Reach out to Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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How Jobseekers Sabotage Their Own Interviews

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When seeking employment, there are many hurdles and hardships to deal with—but often, jobseekers are their own worst enemies.

In particular, there are a number of ways in which jobseekers throw a wrench into their own interviews, sabotaging themselves and lowering their chances of landing a new gig.

Some of the biggest sources of self-sabotage are listed below.

No. 1: Failing to prepare an elevator pitch.

“So tell me about yourself.” Your job interview may well begin with this very question—and if it doesn’t, you’re sure to hear some variation on it. So how will you answer? This is not the time to stumble and stammer. This question is an invitation for you to offer a clear, confident, and concise statement of who you are as an employee—and to transcend the facts and figures on your resume.

No. 2: Not asking any questions.

The job interview is not just a chance for the hiring manager to ask you questions; it’s also a chance for you to learn a bit more about the company. If you don’t chime in with some questions of your own, at interview’s end, then you’re squandering an opportunity—but worse, you’re coming across to the interviewer like you’re apathetic or unengaged.

No. 3: Talking trash about your current employer.

Maybe you don’t much care for the job you have now. That’s fine—but be diplomatic in how you express it. The interviewer does not want to hire someone who is prone to negativity or to complaining. If you complain about your current job, who’s to say you won’t complain about your next one?

No. 4: Having a resume you can’t stand behind.

Questions about your resume are bound to arise—so make sure you know what it says! Are there any positions on the resume you don’t want to talk about? Any claims you can’t back up? Any resume buzzwords that you can’t define? A poor resume can sabotage you, even during the interview process.

Get on the right track today by having a resume consultation. Contact Grammar Chic’s resume team at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net for more!

 

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Are You Sabotaging Your Own Job Search?

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What might seem like a great job search strategy at the time can prove to be less than productive down the road. In fact, what seems like a smart approach might actually be doing you more harm than good.

That’s a tough thing for jobseekers to hear. Searching for employment is, after all, a rather daunting and even discouraging thing, and it can be hard to figure out what’s right and what’s not amidst the sea of job search advice.

Nevertheless, it’s important to ensure that what you’re doing is as smart and as pragmatic as you think it is—and to remove from your job search arsenal any tactics that are counterproductive.

Casting a Wide Net

A great example of this is the practice of sending out as many resumes as you possibly can—applying for any job opening you come across that fits in with your particular skill set, even tangentially.

This sounds good in theory. Positioning yourself as a multi-capable professional, generally skilled and up for any challenge, sure sounds like something employers would like. Only, it isn’t. Employers tend to be searching for a very precise set of skills and personality traits—and “general” isn’t one of them.

Taking the shotgun approach to job hunting isn’t really effective, then, because you’re essentially using all your time applying for jobs you’re highly unlikely to get, or even to interview for. A more honed, focused approach is preferable.

Being Perfectly Agreeable

It might also seem like a good idea to come across as perfectly positive and good-natured in job interviews—and certainly, you want to be even-tempered, friendly, and personable. Remember that interviewers aren’t just looking for skills, but also for cultural fit.

However, you don’t want to be even-tempered to the point of being unengaged. When you’re given an opportunity to ask some questions about the company, make sure that you do so. Show that you care, that you’re engaged in the process, and that you’re not simply desperate to take any job that’s available to you.

Playing it Too Cool

An opposite approach is to play it so cool in a job interview that you don’t even let on that you want the job. Here’s where some balancing will be necessary. You don’t want to come across as desperate, it’s true—but neither do you want to come across as disinterested.

This is especially so when you’re interviewing at a small business or a startup. Remember that this is the business owner’s baby that you’re talking about. The person you’re interviewing with likely wants to see some real enthusiasm—not mere detachment.

Getting Too Creative with Your Resume

Finally, remember that the best way to stand out is to be outstanding—not to be weird, different, or “creative.” This is especially true when it comes to resumes. Many jobseekers believe that the best way to draw attention is to do something out of the ordinary with their resumes—but recruiters and hiring managers want the ordinary format, to some extent, and don’t have much patience for outside-the-box styles or templates.

If you need help constructing an attention-grabbing—but not off-putting—resume, our team is standing by. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444!

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