There are already so many uncontrollable variables that factor into a job search and whether or not it's successful, which means you need to be on your game for everything that you can control. Have you applied for a job that you desperately want, but the hiring manager wants to hire someone from his own alma mater? That's out of your control. But everything from the way you job search to your résumé, cover letter, interview, and post-interview etiquette is in your job hungry hands. Careerbuilder came up with a list of 25 reasons you may not be getting a job, but I've whittled their sometimes too obvious observations down to five that I think are some of the most important of the bunch.
- Not keeping track of your accomplishments: When you're happy with your job, it's easy to forget about possible future job hunts. You never know when you'll end up looking for new work, and if you don't keep a running list of awards, promotions and accomplishments, you might not remember them when it's time to update your résumé.
- Only searching for the perfect job: Yes, your job search should be focused. After all, applying to every job posting that comes your way is a good way to waste time but not an effective way to find a job you want. However, if you approach your job hunt unwilling to accept anything less than the precise job title, pay, vacation time and hours you want, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
Find out three more ways you might be sabotaging your job search when you
- Writing a generic cover letter: If your cover letter looks like it could have come from a word processor template, right down to the "To Whom It May Concern," don't bother sending it. Hiring managers look for a candidate who wants that specific position, not someone who sends out applications en masse. Write a new cover letter for each job application and include details specific to that company.
- Forgetting you're being interviewed from the moment you walk in: Just because you're not sitting down at a desk across from the hiring manager, don't think you're not being evaluated. For example, employers will often ask their receptionists if you were nice them.
- Not learning from your mistakes: Not every interview goes off without a hitch, so don't beat yourself up if you flubbed an answer or two. However, if you don't take the time to review each interview you go on, you're bound to repeat the same mistakes again and again.