20 Ways you’re wasting time with your job search

Job hunting sucks. We all know that. The usual job search experiences range from seemingly unending rejections to permanent communication black holes from job sites or recruiting firms. The whole experience is definitely no fun, particularly if you are unemployed with bills to pay.

I have some really bad news for you

And the news is not getting better. The overall unemployment rate has increased from 5.9% in January last year to 6.25% last month. The youth (15-24) unemployment rate is more than double the overall rate at approximately 15%, an increase of more than 30% in two years. There are more unemployed people than job vacancies. It is clear that young people (Millennials and Gen Y) are facing an unemployment crisis that the government has no strategic or effective plan to fix.

Things have changed, so you better change your approach!

The most effective job search methods have changed substantially in our online world and it’s probably time that you modify your job search approach to what works today.

I am not suggesting that you will have complete control over the process now (any more than you did in the past), but more variables can trip you up these days.

20 Ways You Are Be Wasting Your Time

You are the only one who can control what you do during your job search, so if you are job hunting, this is how you may be wasting your time:

  1. Believing that every job posting you find – or every email from an ’employer’ – is a real job. Be wary of scam jobs and job scams from bogus companies and recruiters.
  2. Thinking that employers don’t hire during the summer or the holidays or at the end of the year. You should be continuing to job during these times.
  3. Assuming that your freedom of speech rights trump an employer’s right to Google you. Employers will judge you by what they find online, so be careful.
  4. Defining networking as only attending events in large rooms, full of strangers. You actually have to talk to people for this to be effective.
  5. Waiting until the most competitive job markets of the year to job search. This is September and January, but you should be job hunting no matter what time of the year it is..
  6. Succumbing to mistaken identity: If you know that someone else has the same name and lives in the same city as you, assuming an employer will know – or discover – the difference between you and that person when casually researching you on Google or social media.
  7. Assuming that networking means ‘using’ others – all ‘take’ and no ‘give’.
  8. Assuming that the internet has made job searching easy (the opposite is often true).
  9. Not reaching out to people you worked with, former classmates or peers to catch up with their news and to see if they know of any job openings that might be appropriate for you.
  10. Looking for a job – any job! – rather than taking the time to determine what type of job you want and focussing on the employers who you really want to work for.
  11. Not having a good, memorable answer to the question, “What are you looking for?” when someone is kind enough and interested enough to ask.
  12. Spending all your time online clicking on the “Apply” button for every job you find, whether or not you are qualified for it.
  13. Posting your resume on all the job boards and waiting for the job offers to roll in.
  14. Exaggerating your qualifications on your resume.
  15. Using social media for only for amusement. Yes, it can be amusing, but social media can be very effective if used correctly and very damaging if used inappropriately.
  16. Setting up a minimal LinkedIn profile and ignoring it after that.
  17. Not bothering with good manners and etiquette – no thank you notes, no courteous small talk with the receptionist or other non-managers at job interviews, and showing up for job interviews late.
  18. Not preparing for job interviews by re-reading the job description and doing research about the employer and the people interviewing you.
  19. Asking about the salary and benefits during the first job interview.
  20. Supplying the names of people to serve as references without their permission first.

While you certainly can’t control what happens on the employer’s side of this process, your job search will be longer than it needs to be, and you’ll be wasting your and others’ time, if you are guilty of doing many of the things listed above. So guys, hand on your heart, are you doing some or all of the above?

If you want a job, change your job search approach and remember to hunt wisely!


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