Friday, October 23, 2009

8 Mistakes that Can Hurt Your Job Search

Mistake # 7: Not Using Impact Stories to Bring Your Interviews Alive

Resumes are boring to read. They are necessary, but represent the dry, bare bones of your experience.

Resumes rarely convince someone to hire you. What convinces someone to hire you are the stories and examples you share about your past accomplishments. Impact stories bring your skills to life by explaining exactly how you used them to get a result. They help the decision maker believe you can use those same skills to solve his/her problems.

Give the decision maker something to remember you by. Share your impact stories!

Mistake # 8: Not Using Networking to Open the Door to a Target Company

You are targeting a specific company. You have identified the hiring decision maker. You have tailored your resume. You are ready to send an introductory letter with your resume. Right?

Wrong. To the decision maker, you'll look just like everyone else: a faceless document (or series of megabytes). People hire people, and they listen to those they trust. By getting a referral from someone he/she knows, you are automatically qualifying yourself for consideration. In fact, with a referral, the decision maker is actually obligated by his/her relationship to review your materials.

If you don't know someone at the company, consider joining an online networking site like to find someone who does.

Break out of the pack and get a referral!


Whether you're a first time job seeker, changing careers, re-entering the workforce, or considering semi-retirement, the steps should be the same:

1. Take time to discover who you are (your interests/strengths) and what you really want.
2. Focus and target your job search.
3. Learn how to present your value in a way that is relevant to your target.
4. Align yourself with the options that fit you best.

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Brian Sanders is President and CEO of Clear Ambition, an online company that provides self-assessment and 1-to-1 personal career guidance to help people make better, more confident decisions about their career path and life direction. Visit for more information and a free interest analysis.


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