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15 things job seekers do wrong, plus specific ways to fix every one of them TODAY!

be strategic in your job search, job search action steps, avoiding job search mistakes,
Could mistakes be killing your
job prospects?
I help many job seekers and have noticed that they often miss the same 15 steps. 

Are you missing them too? Learn the common mistakes and solutions to fix the problems TODAY.

15 job seeker mistakes + 15 action steps to fix them NOW.

1) Not asking people for help/not reminding them you are still looking. People who care about you want you to succeed. Ask them for leads and connections. Remind them occasionally that you are looking.

Today’s task: Send an e-mail to family members, friends, and former coworkers to let them know you are job seeking (or still looking) and what kind of job you want. Ask them to send you job leads and to connect you with people who can help you. Send them reminders at least once a month. Networking basics.
Why people aren’t helping you.

2) Not including your complete contact information on your e-mail messages. Make it easy for friends to help and for recruiters to contact you.

Today’s task: Add or improve your e-mail signature. Here's how | Add your LinkedIn profile to your e-mail signature.

3) Not being on LinkedIn (or barely being on) LinkedIn. LinkedIn has amazing free tools to help you find work, connect with your network, and increase your knowledge about your chosen career. Not being on it says you don’t “get” social networking and aren’t even willing to try.

Today’s task: Sign up for LinkedIn, read through the introductory help features and establish a profile. Joining is free and establishing your basic profile is easy. Continue to build your profile and establish your LinkedIn presence by taking advantage of all the tools that are available.

4) Your title and current position on your LinkedIn profile indicates you are employed (at your old job)/freelancing/or are the owner of your own company. If you are job seeking, don’t do this! Hiring companies will see you are gainfully occupied and move on. Another error: Showing you are seeking too many types of jobs (it makes you look like you are not a master at any one job function). Better: Say something like: Talented (TITLE/JOB FUNCTION), seeking employment.

Today’s task: Change your LinkedIn title and current position to show you are seeking work for a specific title or job function.

5) Not using your LinkedIn status bar to encourage your connections to send you job leads.

Today’s task: Craft a simple (140 character or so) message for your LinkedIn status bar to ask people to pass along job leads in your chosen field. Change the message slightly every week so your status will continually show up on your contact’s LinkedIn network updates.

6) Too few LinkedIn connections – If you only have a handful of LinkedIn connections, it looks like you don’t know how to use LinkedIn and even worse, that … gulp, you have no friends … not a good thing when you are trying to prove your worth!

Today’s task: Invite at least 10 people to connect. Type former company names in the “Search People” box and invite former coworkers (who you know) to connect. Add a personal note to the invitation to remind them who you are. Also invite college and high school friends, family members, etc. Later (after some have accepted your invitation), go through their connections list and invite mutual friends from their list to connect. Continue to invite people and seek to have at least 50 1st degree contacts.

Consider this: For about every 100 people you connect with on LinkedIn, your network (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections) grows by about one million people. This means you can view more people’s information at more companies, which is needed information for your job search!

7) Not adjusting your cover letter for the job description. Also not customizing your cover letter to show specific interest in the target company.

Today’s task:  Conduct research about a company and think about how you can weave information about the organization into your cover letter. Here's how.

8) Not adjusting your resume to match the job description. Your resume should (truthfully) mirror the job description so if the recruiter puts your resume through a key word search program, it should show you are clearly qualified for the position.

Today’s task: Adjust your standard resume to include more of the key words typically used in job descriptions in your field. 

9) Not adding specific job experience information on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t just include the titles of former positions; add quantifiable results and powerfully worded phrases about what you accomplished at various jobs.

Today’s task: Add job experience information and quantifiable results to your LinkedIn profile.

10) Few or no LinkedIn group memberships and little or no participation in group discussions. Join local and national job seeker groups, college and high school alumni groups, and groups that involve your chosen career and participate in discussions to show you are an expert in your field.

Today’s task: Join at least five LinkedIn groups that can help you in your job search. Once you have been accepted, review group discussions and practice posting your own topics. Later, respond to people who commented on your discussion posts. Join LinkedIn groups.

11) Not enough recommendations on LinkedIn. Recommendations can show recruiters and others who check out your LinkedIn profile that you are qualified and respected.

Today’s task: Seek out recommendations by sending select contacts a request to recommend you. Even better: Recommend others and then ask them to recommend you. Get recommendations | Create a recommendations document.

12) Only applying for jobs online. After you have applied for a position, always reach out to someone inside the company or who is influential with the company to improve your chances of being considered. Also use these people’s names in your messaging to the company.

Today’s task: Apply for a job online and then send an e-mail to someone within the company or who is influential to the company. Learn how.

13) Improperly completed application forms and typos. Allow time to complete online or paper job application forms properly and double check your materials to prevent typographical errors.

Today’s task: Review your resume and standard cover letter and check for typos and outdated information. Check your messages before you hit send!

14) Not improving yourself to match the expected capabilities of your chosen field. If you are seeking positions that no longer exist (because time has passed you by), resolve to improve your capabilities and seek jobs of the future.

Today’s task: Conduct an assessment of your assets as well as your improvement opportunities. Get organized, create an action plan, and fix your weaknesses.

15) Not being fully prepared for a job interview. Resolve to be the epitome of a confident, qualified candidate in your next interview.

Today’s task: Review the following documents: Preparing for the interview | Interviewing well. Keep these documents on file and refer to them when you have an upcoming interview.

What other steps do job seekers miss, or what do you think about this list? Share your tips!


Look to WiserU
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  1. Hopefully all those people don't read this post! I could use all the edge i can get.

  2. Some people may have already seen this! Get on it.


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