Tag Archives: Job Searching Tips

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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Why the Holiday Season is a Great Time for Job Searching

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There are countless excuses you can make for suspending your job search through the month of December: You need a break. You want to enjoy the holidays. Nobody’s really hiring anyway. Most companies are worried about end-of-the-year financials and holiday parties. You can start your job search again in mid-January, once things are back to normal.

We’re here to tell you that, in spite of all the excuses, the holiday season is actually a great time to look for work. If you’re already searching, keep doing it—full speed ahead. And if you’ve been thinking about launching a new job search, there really is no time like the present.

Reasons to Job Search During the Holidays

Why do we think the holiday season is so ideal for job searching? Here’s our argument:

Your competitors are taking time off for the holidays. You might assume that hiring managers receive many fewer resumes and cover letters during the holiday season—and you’re not wrong. That’s all the more reason for you to step up and seize this opportunity to shine in a less-crowded field of applicants.

You’ll have a lot of opportunities to network over the holidays. Parties, open houses, charity events… this is a season that brings with it plenty of chances to meet and mingle, which can really be an asset to jobseekers.

You have a great excuse to reconnect with old contacts. The holidays give you a perfect reason to send quick emails or LinkedIn messages to former colleagues and classmates, and to let them know you’re thinking about them and wish them a happy holiday season. Of course, you can also let them know you’re in the market for work.

You may actually have an easier time reaching hiring managers. It’s not unusual for administrative assistants and mid-level managers to take holiday time, so if you call a potential employer, there’s a decent shot of you connecting more easily to the ultimate decider. This gives you a unique opportunity to form a connection!

You can position yourself for January turnover. The beginning of the year can bring a lot of departures—so even if you’re not hired before Christmas, you can at least have your name in the ring for a shot in January.

You can prove yourself to be serious. Job seeking over the holiday season is, as we’ve already established, a pretty bold move—and it’ll show hiring managers that you’re really committed.

Make Your Move

There’s no time like now to put your best foot forward—and one way to do so is to spruce up your resume. We’d love to give you the holiday-season resume overhaul you need. Contact our team at Grammar Chic to make it happen: 803-831-7444 or 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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Don’t Stress About Your Job Search

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Let’s begin with the obvious: Searching for a new job is stressful.

This is true even when you’re currently employed, balancing the demands of your nine-to-five with an after-hours quest on online job boards, or covert discussions with your recruiter or career coach.

It’s even truer when you don’t have a job at all—and when your need for employment begins to feel downright desperate.

To some extent, searching for work is always going to be stressful. On another level, though, it’s about as stressful as you care to make it. You cannot control every facet of your job search, of course, but there’s plenty you can do to manage and mitigate stress.

  • One thing you should always, always, always do is take care of yourself. Work out. Devote an hour each day to running or going to the gym. Eat right, too, and don’t use unemployment as an excuse to fall into bad habits, such as the consumption of junk food. When you feel well, you’ll be better able to deal with stressful experiences and conflicting emotions; feeling run-down, crummy, or low on energy, meanwhile, will only make that stress more severe.
  • As trivial as it may sound, playing music is a good idea. Music has documented stress-reducing properties, and while you don’t want it to become a distraction, you can at least put on some background tunes while you search online job boards, post to LinkedIn, and so forth.
  • Stay organized. Keep a calendar and a daily planner, outlining all the steps you need to take and all the tasks on your to-do list. Have a folder where you can keep important documents. Treat the job search like you would a full-time job, and ensure that nothing can slip through the cracks—which will ease your mind and alleviate uncertainty.
  • Set small goals for yourself. Your main goal, obviously, is to get a job, but you might also set more minor, day-to-day or week-to-week goals—to follow up with five employers today, to submit ten new applications by Thursday, and so forth.
  • Finally, leave some room for volunteering. Community service is not only great for boosting your morale, but it may even be something that looks good on your resume!

Something else that will reduce stress: Knowing that you have a solid, effective resume to circulate. If that’s what you lack, contact our resume writing team today. Grammar Chic, Inc. can be reached at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Are You Wrecking Your Job Search?

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There’s no recipe that guarantees job search success, no list of ingredients that solidifies your standing as a reputable and desirable candidate. Job search success is largely about preparation, but it’s also about timing, personal connections, and good old-fashioned luck.

It’s also a bit of a mental game. You need to have a solid resume and an optimized LinkedIn page, it’s true—but if your head’s not in the right place, you may still find your job search to be fruitless.

Are you in the wrong headspace for job search success? Are you falling prey to some of the common, classic job search errors? We’ve listed just a few of them below.

You Have the Wrong Expectations

This job search error can take different forms, and it largely depends on how old you are. Young people—in particular recent college graduates—can often feel entitled, like the job force owes them a position. It doesn’t, and this kind of attitude—usually quite perceptible to employers—is a huge turn-off.

Older jobseekers face the opposite problem. They often assume that because they are over, say, age 50, there’s just no position open for them, which isn’t true at all—but believing it to be so can wreck your confidence.

You Think The Only Way to Get a Job is Through Networking Site X

Fill in the X with whatever career portal you like—whether it’s Monster.com or simply LinkedIn. There are a couple of problems with thinking the only way to find work is to be active on one of these sites. The first is that, if anything, you’re going to want to be active on multiple job sites and networking platforms; you can’t afford to put all your eggs in one basket. More importantly, though, you have to realize that a website isn’t going to hire you; a person is going to hire you. Relationships, human connections, face-to-face meetings—even in our increasingly digital world, are all things that are still incredibly important.

You Assume That You Are the Sum of Your Achievements

Your previous positions and your degree are important, but they’re not the sum total of who you are as a candidate. You have passions, interests, and personality traits that you bring to the table, some of which may not be neatly summarized on your resume. Being a winning conversationalist or a fast learner, these things can’t be taught—and as such, they’re often what employers are truly looking for.

You Think It’s All a Waiting Game

If you have a job interview at 10:00 in the morning, you’re probably not going to have an offer waiting for you when you check your e-mail at noon. In fact, it may take three or four days, if not longer, before you hear back anything at all. That’s all well and good—but you’re by no means obliged to simply wait for hiring managers to get back to you. You need to stay active and keep looking, even as you anticipate news from an interview that you think went well.

Getting your mind right is an important part of the job search process, and can help you avoid major job search mistakes. To learn more about how Grammar Chic can help you in your job search, we invite you to contact us today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.

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