Consider these statistics. Thirty percent (about 300 million) of all Google searches per month are employment related. Also most job hunters including those who are currently employed spend majority of their time (50%) on two activities - searching for and applying for new positions.
What does this tell you? That as a job seeker, making a success of your job search is hard work. In point of fact it could be the hardest job of your life. When you are unemployed and job searching or employed and searching for better opportunities, hunting for a new job then becomes a job in itself. Job seeking requires innovation and creativity to make it a reality. To make it a reality, you have to bring a lot of ingenuity into it to make it effective and result oriented. Since you are marketing a product 'you' the job seeker, therefore as in marketing it requires positioning, process, persistence, performance and personality. You also have to exhibit enough dexterity to market yourself to prospective employers.
It is a known fact that job hunters (including the so called smart ones) often make some common mistakes which consequently cost them dearly in their job search. They continuously make these mistakes and it results in making their job search mere actions rather than being result oriented. It continues to make them mere job seekers rather than turning them to potential employees.
What therefore are these common mistakes and what can a job seeker do to avoid them?
Common Mistake #1: Failure to Imbibe the Habit of Networking
As much as 80% of new job opportunities are said to be found through networking. Statistics have shown that for those earning about $100,000 and above, networking accounts for 50% of surfaced job opportunities. For those earning between $60,000 and $100,000 however, networking account for 46% of surfaced job opportunities. For job searchers 50 years and above, statistics have shown that networking account for 46% of searching effectiveness. Men historically have become more likely to learn about new job opportunities through networking than women. Statistics put this at 46% to 39%. All these statistics are supposed to emphasize the effectiveness of networking in job hunting.
What is networking? By networking is meant "an information exchange between you and another person." It involves establishing relationship with people who can help you advance your career in many ways. By implication what this means is that as a job seeker, your interaction with people and consequent building of relationship with them can help you in the course of your job search. Most of your network connections that are privy to job information are most likely to exchange such information with you and you with them.
However, what do we have these days? Most people rather than leveraging on their network connections on the social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc) prefer using their connectivity for gossips and other social events than what will really advance their lot exchanging information on job opportunities.
Can you see how failure to network effectively can limit your chances of securing more job opportunities and consequently keep you frustrated and hopeless about joblessness?Are
Common Mistake #2: Restricting Job Search Opportunities to Advertised Ones.
Sixty five to seventy percent of job leads are said to be gained through personal referrals. In point of fact, the Wall Street Journal put the statistics of job opportunities filled through personal or employee referrals at 90%.
It is therefore not all the job openings that are normally advertised. There are some hidden job markets. This is because some recruiters and employers sometimes recruit job seekers that are recommended to them by colleagues, friends and sometimes associates. I personally have recommended job seekers for employment through this means on countless occasions. In point of fact an acquaintance recently applied for and got employed for a job opening that was not advertised. You should therefore get acquainted with potential employers with a view to having a pre-knowledge of available jobs before they are advertised by developing your contact network. To advertise your availability in the job market, you need to get the names of the professionals in your field. You need to ask faculty, alumni and peers on how to contact such persons. Also, directories, association listings, professional bodies, alumni associations, job search clubs and telephone books are veritable source of such names. To get reliable information about any job listing in any organization the best person to contact is the supervisor or manager of the position you are interested in.
Do you now see how restricting your job search to advertised ones can restrict your opportunities and keep you further frustrated and hopeless?
Common Mistake #3: Failure to Craft Professional, Targeted and Attention Grabbing Resumes
How does a potential employer learn about your value to his organization without hearing it straight from your mouth? How do you convince a hiring manager that you are a good fit for the job opening that he has put on offer without attending an interview arranged to make this possible? How then do you attend an interview arranged to select potential employees to fill job openings without being invited for it?
You see, without crafting a targeted, attention grabbing and professional resumes or CV, you can never get invitated for an interview. As a matter of fact, the main objective of the resume is to win you an invitation for an interview and nothing more. Without the interview you cannot be engaged as an employee. The interview comes before engagement.
You should note this if you do not already that your resume is an ad copy and like one it is supposed to sell a product -You. To do that it has to be seductive and persuasive enough to optimize your chances of passing the elimination test every time you submit one. The hiring manager spends less than one minute scanning through a resume. To pass through the elimination test it should start with crafting one that is professional and attention grabbing. A professionally written resume or CV is one that is effective and therefore consistent, concise, clear and easy to read. It should be one that is free of errors or mistakes.
Why a targeted resume? A targeted resume is one sent to specific potential employers and not one sent blindly to any employer. Sending 40 to 50 CVs to targeted companies will be far more productive than sending them to every job that pops up on job boards. Statistics show that only 1% of job seekers are successful sending resumes to just any employer.
Also your attention grabbing resume should be one that projects your accomplishments/achievements rather than your responsibilities and experience. You see, a potential employer is only interested in how you can help him solve the problem at hand which necessitated his putting out the vacancy. You need to draw the attention of a potential employer to your perfect fit for being shortlisted to fill the vacancy and you do this through your professionally crafted resume.
Why a professional resume that is attention grabbing you may ask? An attention grabbing professional resume enhances your marketability because it has been crafted in such a way that it focuses on your achievements and results rather than responsibilities. Also, it makes matching your skills, achievements and attributes as a prospective candidate easier and more effective therefore enhancing compatibility. Further, it reduces the time you waste on job searching. Finally, it improves your personal confidence and interview preparedness by reminding you about those attributes and accomplishments you might have forgotten in the course of an interview.