There are a lot of things that people do to try to improve their chances of getting the jobs that they want. But, sometimes, they also do things that are not helpful to themselves.

As Michael Trust writes for Careerrealism, here are three harmful things that people sometimes do:

  1. You Have Not Fully Grasped The Reality of today’s market and the massive economic upheaval that is occurring. All of the fancy degrees, past experience, and so on just isn’t enough today. These things DO matter – it’s just the applicant pool is full of people with these backgrounds. Thus, the competition is much more stiff. Nothing in this job market will come easily. Some positions will come more easily than others, but they may be positions for which you feel you’re overqualified. The ‘gem’ positions will typically take much longer and be harder to get.”
  2. You Don’t Apply because you don’t like to be rejected, and if you don’t apply, you can’t be rejected. This is circular logic, and self-fulfilling (and self-defeating) behavior. You don’t know until you try. In the marathon that is today’s job search, you’re going to be rejected until you’re not. It’s a fact of life. We’ve all been there. It’s not personal; it’s just business.”
  3. You Don’t Take Your Job Search Seriously. If you’re unemployed (or underemployed), your job search should be at least 30-40 hours per week – responding to ads (low value return, but necessary), resume and cover letter customization, and networking, networking, networking (did I mention ‘networking’?).  If you are employed and are looking for a new gig on the sly, at least 10-20 hours per week would be appropriate. Watching daytime television and hanging out with friends is not likely to get you a new position. Looking for a job is a job. Treat it like one.”


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4 Replies to “Are You Trying NOT to Get A Job?”

  1. As Dr. Evans notes, responding to job postings and networking are fundamental. But they’re not enough. A few more steps to help landing a job would include:

    – Creating a database of companies and people you’d like to reach (Excel spreadsheet)
    – Email to that database (a brief, to-the-point, introduction with Word CV attached)
    – Follow up phone calls on email outreach (Did you get my email?)
    – Snail mail to same database, with CV (Introduction and, did you receive my earlier email?)
    – More follow up phone calls (Did you receive my letter and earlier email?)
    – Even more follow up phone calls (persistent without being a pest)
    – When necessary, use voicemail as a medium and selling tool (short and sweet, with personality)

    Hope this helps a bit. Bill Crandall (Hofstra Zarb MBA, ’77)

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