July 22, 2013 4 Comments
Some things are hard to believe, like I stepped on my scale this morning expecting to be two pounds heavier, due to Easter weekend, and I was actually two pounds lighter. Or I deliver the best workshop of my life and receive less than stellar evaluations. What about my wife still talking to me after I haven’t installed a, new screen door on our house three weeks after she’d asked me to?
Other things I find hard to believe are things that jobseekers do in their job search. For example:
- They tell me they have no accomplishments to list on their résumé, so they have a résumé that looks like a grocery list of duty statements. One of my customers told me that in five years of working at a company he hadn’t achieved anything great. Come on, try, guy.
- They send the same résumé to employers thinking targeted cover letters will address the requirements of a job. One customer admitted he sends out the same résumé but makes sure to tailor the cover letter to meet the employers’ needs. Half way there.
- Related to #2: They don’t send cover letters with their résumés. Come on, it only takes an hour at most to write a cover letter that elaborates more on your qualifications and accomplishments. Unless specifically told not to send a cover letter, send one.
- They think it’s acceptable to dress like they’re going to the gym while they’re in public. You’re always in the hunt and you never know when someone who has the authority to hire you—or knows someone who has the authority to hire you—will bump into you in the grocery store. Networking is not only about going to organized events; it’s an everyday thing.
- They start a LinkedIn profile and just leave it there like a wilting plant. Do you think doing this will create a positive impression on recruiters and employers? No, it will do more harm than good. Having a profile is one part of the equation; being active is another part. Be active on LinkedIn.
- They spend the majority of their time on the computer, posting résumés to Monster, SimplyHired, the Ladders, etc. Richard Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute, says your chance of success is between 5%-10% when using this method alone. To me this is not a great use of jobseeking time.
- They spend mere minutes researching companies and the jobs for which they apply before an interview. Really now, don’t you owe employers the respect of being able to articulate why you want to work at their company and do the job they’re advertising? Do your research.
- After getting laid off, they think it’s a great time for a three-month vacation, especially during the summer. Take a week off and then start your job search is my advice. Some downtime is healthy, but the longer you’re out, the harder it will be to get a job.
- They expect recruiters to work for them. Who pays the recruiters’ bills? Recruiters work for employers, and any optimism you hear in their voice is to give you confidence when vying for the position, not to indicate you have the job. They’re busy people who don’t always have time to answer your phone calls or e-mails, so don’t feel slighted.
- They don’t send a thank you note to employers after an interview. I know, people say it’s a waste of time; but don’t go about your job search in a half-ass way. Thank you notes are an extension of the interview and could make you or…break you.
These are some of the things I find hard to believe. The majority of my customers don’t commit these blunders, but some of my customers…make me scratch my head because I find them hard to believe.