I was pitched to contribute to an article about how people sabotage their job search.
This is what I submitted to the journalist who chose to use my remark about job descriptions:
1. You only apply for jobs: Available statistics have shown that most jobs are filled as a result or networking. That leads to
2. You don’t preserve your network of relationships. It feels awkward to rekindle those former friends, colleagues and managers. You don’t want to seem like “one of those people.”
3. You never take time for self-promotion. “Who knows about you,” is one of the questions I ask people because usually it is a small circle of people they’ve worked with. Writing and commenting regularly online, public speaking, being interviewed on podcasts and YouTube channels will help more people know about you so you are seen as an expert and can be located through Google when recruiters are trying to find someone.
4. You use a generic resume rather than tailoring it. The broken watch may be right twice a day but generic resumes don’t result in as many interviews as you could have.
5. You think the ad or job description you’ve seen is accurate and what they’re looking for. Job descriptions are at best 80% accurate. They are typically an institutional document used to fill previous positions like this and rarely updated. You need to find out about the position early in an interview or screening call so you understand what they are really trying to find.
6. You paralyze your personality. In the desire to seem “professional,” you turn yourself into a “me, too” candidate — someone just like everyone else without personality. If you’re just like everyone else, how can they come to a decision to choose you except by accident? After all, usually, your competition is as qualified as you.
7. You don’t display self-confidence in your abilities. When managers hire, they want to feel confident that you are the solution they need. Your lack of confidence makes them distrust in your abilities.
8. You don’t prepare for interviews. Firms ask predictable questions on interviews. Practice your answers to these questions and be prepared to talk about what you’ve done and how you went about doing it. Don’t just think your answers in advance. Say them out loud.
9. You think they start negotiating when…