I talk to a lot of people who have gone through a job transition during the last few years. Although most people agree that both the economy and the job market are tough right now, I sometimes wonder if people really grasp just how challenging things are for a lot of people. There are some common themes among those who seem to be sabotaging their own job searches:
YOU THINK YOU CAN DO IT ALONE
It amazes me how many people have been out there looking for a job for quite a while—either full-time or while already working—who have never asked anyone for help. Granted, some people just don’t have the resources to hire a resume writer or job coach, but there’s no excuse for anyone to be sending out resumes that haven’t been proofread by at least two other people. Even people who don’t proofread professionally are likely to pick up errors that you’re missing—simply because, as professional editors will tell you, “you’re too close to it”. If you think the interview process is where you’re getting tripped up, ask an honest friend or colleague to conduct a mock interview with you. You may be doing something seemingly insignificant—like nervously laughing between answers—that you’re just never going to realize on your own. And take it one step further—videotape your mock interview; that will give you an opportunity to see yourself as others do.
TURNING DOWN OFFERS
If you already have a job, then you’re perfectly justified in turning down a job offer that doesn’t seem like an upgrade. However, if you’ve been out there looking for a while, you should have a very compelling reason for turning down a job that’s offered to you. If you think about your friends who are currently employed, many of them are working fewer than ideal hours, doing more than one person’s job, or making less than they’d prefer. And you know what? They’re generally really, really thankful to be employed at all right now. It’s better to take a job that offers 85% of what you’re looking for than to hold out for a “perfect” job that may never come along.
TALKING ABOUT YOUR JOB SEARCH TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH
I know someone who couldn’t find a job for nearly two years after finishing his M.B.A. program. While that was clearly a very stressful time for him, he made the mistake of broadcasting his job search woes across his Facebook account several times a week. Over time, this behavior cast him in a very negative light among his social network—exactly the people who might have been helpful to him if he’d handled things differently. On the other hand, I know people who have been so embarrassed by their unemployment that they never said a word about it—which also completely negates the possibility of receiving help from a network.
If you’ve been out of work for a while and can’t figure out what’s going wrong, take a moment to consider whether you’re appropriately asking others for help—and whether you have realistic expectations about what’s available in the job market right now. It may be that a small adjustment is the next step in making your job search successful!
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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