Recent reports show that the job market is showing signs of life, though unemployment will remain high for years. So it's vital for job seekers to know what to do and what NOT TO DO to help land that next job.
The following is advice from career expert Elaine Varelas, managing partner of Keystone Partners. Keystone Partners is a leading career management-consulting firm in Boston. See more at www.keystonepartners.com.
Five Critical Pitfalls Job Seekers Should Avoid to Stay in the Game
-- Underprepared: Often times job seekers who have been at it a while get discouraged and begin to get lazy. Be prepared. If you have an interview, don't let that opportunity go to waste. Research the company, bring questions about the job, and bring examples of what you would do in the first 90 days.
-- Going Casual: Even if you know you are interviewing at a company where the dress policy is business casual, you still want to present at the top of your game. Wear your best suit, polished shoes, minimal jewelry, get a haircut. Be memorable for how professional you look.
-- Going Negative : It's easier than you think to sound negative in an interview, so think about how to phrase what you will say as much as you think about what you are going to say. No one really wants to hear about how hard the job search is, or how much rejection you have had. Be positive!
-- Going it Alone: Many people still undervalue the power of networking or they become overly reliant on technology as a means to do it. In addition to online networking and job boards, get out there and meet people. Get in front of people who can introduce you to the people who put those postings online.
-- Pursuing Everything: Applying for every job in your field regardless of how over or under-qualified you are is a waste of time. Rather than inundating hiring managers with applications to jobs that you don't want anyway, take the time to focus on submitting the highest quality materials to only positions you know you will be excited to take. That should free up more time to network, conduct more company research, etc.
Thanks to Elaine Varelas, and if I may add: Do what others fail to do!
(Marvin Walberg is a job search coach. Contact him at mwalberg(at)bellsouth.net, marvinwalberg.blogspot.com, or PO Box 43056, Birmingham, AL 35243.)
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