“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.” It’s one of the most common statements we hear from clients concerning their job searches. Clients come to us, often as a last resort instead of an initial investment in their job search, and it is from these clients that we hear the reports of confusion concerning the effectiveness of their job searches. There are many issues that can plague the effectiveness of a job search and sabotage it from the beginning. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Lack of Investment – By investment, I mean giving of oneself in time and money to make the job search a success. It is vital that time be spent on organizing and planning the job search, marketing oneself, making contacts, and working the market. Money should be spent on a professional resume, a good interview suit or two, and job search activities such as internet postings and recruiter contacts.
Poor Resume – I am astounded at the poor quality of resumes we see coming in for review that are meant to represent highly successful, executive job seekers who make in excess of six figures in annual salary. A poor resume might be expected from a blue collar worker who lacks a college education but an MBA with twenty years’ experience in managing multi-billion dollar companies? It doesn’t make sense. Investing in a top-quality, professionally prepared resume is vital to a successful job search.
Lack of Organization – Planning, keeping track of resume submissions, making contacts – all this falls under job search planning. I find very few job seekers go into their job searches with any kind of plan. They use the Word template to get a resume thrown together and then start posting it online. When the phone remains silent, they wonder what is wrong. Job search is like a project. It has stages; it has process; it has objectives; it has procedures; it has strategy. If job search is approached haphazardly results will be poor to nil.
Poor Interviewing Skills – If the resume does its job, the phone should be ringing. When the phone rings, the job seeker should be ready to interview. So many job seekers don’t think of that phone call as an interview but it’s the first interview in a process. If the telephone interview is flubbed, a second interview won’t be scheduled. It is so important to know how to interview well on the telephone, yet most job seekers don’t prepare for it. They prepare for the last interview in the process—the one where the terms of the position are discussed and decided. Unfortunately, that is like trying to paint a house that has never been built. If the first interview is not successful, there will be no last interview.
Lack of Follow Up – The number one thing a job seeker can do to influence the interviewer is to send a thank you note. 99% of all job seekers don’t do it. Statistics show that the 1% who do, enjoy an inordinate amount of success in being called for subsequent interviews. What keeps job seekers from completing this vital task? Laziness. And that brings us to our last Job Search Killer…
Laziness. Job search is work. It is an intensive sales process that takes time and energy. Most people don’t want to invest in the work it takes to win a great new job but would rather have it handed to them. Those who are lazy don’t win. Those who work, win.