Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ten Mistakes that Can Sabotage Your Job Search

How to be more efficient in your job search

By Jay Edward Miller of


Your resume is the number one most power job search tool in your arsenal. It has the power to make you successful beyond your wildest dreams. But if you screw it up, it also has the power to stop you dead in your tracks.

1) Overuse of "blasting" to distribute your resume. Mailing or emailing hundreds or even thousands of resumes to employers and recruiters can be counter-productive. For one thing, you are limited to a weakened, general, all-purpose version of your resume. Your cover letter if you have one, addressed to "Whom It May Concern" will be meaningless. Your submission will be lumped with the spam and junk email. You will have no opportunity to move the process forward by following up with a meaningful phone call, letter, or email.

And if that isn't bad enough, if a recruiter or employer reads your resume, they are smart enough to know that everyone else has a copy of it. If you are a recruiter and you know a thousand other recruiters have the same resume, you would know the tough time you would have earning a commission on the placement. Plus, you might figure that all the local employers have the resume and could cut you out of the loop. If employers know that all the other employers have your resume they may not be interested in competing with them.

Indiscriminate blasting reduces your market value. Don't expect quality interviews; expect interviews for hard-to-fill or high-turnover positions. Some commission hungry agents will be forgiving and may take a chance on you, higher class agents and employers will not.

2) Applying for jobs you are not qualified for. What is the harm? The job looks interesting, the "apply" link is right there, what is the worse that could happen? All they can do is say, "no".

If you are unqualified and waste a recruiter's or employer's time, they will ignore you in the future. And when their time is wasted, they suddenly have a memory like an elephant. That is not the way you want to be remembered in a job search. Plus, how smart does it make you look?

3) Not customizing your resume and cover letter for each employer. The Internet makes it so much easier to investigate companies. Corporate websites will tell you exactly what they are looking for in employees. Leverage these resources. The resume and cover letter are the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal. And with today's technology, sending a generic resume and cover letter is inexcusable.

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