Are you losing focus in your job search? Finding the days disappearing into an online haze? Here are some common time wasters you should avoid:
1. Applying for every job, no matter how far fetched. It’s so easy now to apply online for jobs that you may be tempted to apply for positions that are likely not really of interest to you. What do you have to lose? Well beyond your own time, you’re wasting the company’s time as well. Focus your job search, thoroughly read job descriptions, research the hiring company and apply for those jobs that seem to be a good fit. Avoiding the shotgun approach gives you more time to spend applying for positions that most closely meet your job search goals.
2. Continually recreating your resume. We’re told to tailor our resume based on the position we’re applying for, but don’t get carried away and think you have to rewrite your entire resume. Create several base resumes — maybe two to five depending on your career goals — and then modify one of these resumes slightly with appropriate keywords and focus as necessary for each new position. If you need to redo much of your resume to apply for a position, does that position really fit your career goals?
3. Ditto above for cover letters. Cover letters are similar to resumes in that you should have a couple base documents that you can revise as necessary. You should not be writing a cover letter from scratch for each position you apply for.
4. Mindless networking. When you’re networking make sure you let people know you’re looking for a job and a little bit about your job search goals. Use a very brief elevator speech and ask questions about their experience so you can help them determine how they may be able to help you. Don’t be lazy and put the onus on others by saying, “I’m looking for ______, know of any openings?”.
5. Putting all your eggs in one basket. You think you’re a shoe-in for a position you desperately want. While you’re waiting days or weeks to hear from the employer, you essentially put your job search on hold waiting for the offer. Don’t fall into this trap and keep your job search moving forward until you accept an offer.
Are there any ways you wasted time in a job search that you can share?