It’s a spooky time of year. Ghoulish decorations, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns abound, reminding us that it’s time to stock up on bowls of candy for greedy trick-or-treaters. It’s a good reminder to make sure that you aren’t frightening off hiring managers and squandering opportunities to land jobs. Is it time to dress up your job search strategy?
You don’t need to transform into someone else altogether, but if you haven’t been successful in the past, make sure you avoid these 10 scary job search mistakes.
- Frightening your network. Unwittingly, many job seekers compel their contacts to turn and run as if Freddy Krueger were chasing them. If you are asking everyone you know to help you find a job and are not having any luck, change your approach. Focus on what you have to offer people you want to meet and do not mention anything about looking for a job when you network and you may have more luck.
- Not following up with contacts you meet during networking. Most job seekers are guilty of not keeping in touch with the people who may be able to influence their searches.
- Not identifying and including targeted keywords in your resume and online materials. If you are applying for jobs and hoping for the best, you may as well dig a hole and throw your resume inside and place a “RIP” tombstone on top.
- Making your resume about your past instead of your future. Be sure you don’t mummify your skills.
- Failing to eliminate errors. Mistakes are a job search killer.
- Scaring off hiring managers by applying for every position. You may be surprised to learn that 43% of recruiters would blacklist a candidate for applying to irrelevant positions, according to research from Bullhorn. (Hat tip Dan Schawbel.) Just because you can apply for every job does not mean you should.
- Not preparing to answer important questions in interview. If you want to win a competitive costume contest, you’ll plan in advance and have everything you need to create your “look.” Similarly, when it’s time to interview, it’s up to you to practice what you’ll say.
- Not tapping into social media. If you’ve decided your privacy is more important than anything else and you don the equivalent of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak online, you are making a big mistake.
- Throwing up your hands and giving up. Unlike unsuspecting people in scary movies who always seem to find trouble, people who aren’t putting out the right feelers are not likely to find jobs.
- Letting your guard down once you get a job. Once you do land in the job you’ve been seeking, celebrate, but don’t get complacent. No job is forever.
You don’t have to lose your brains during your job search — proper preparation can help you to avoid making common mistakes. Read all of the tips on my U.S. News & World Report column.
Halloween bonus! This infographic from Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform, outlines their 10 scariest job seeker mistakes–and how to avoid them. Enjoy! Follow all this advice to land more treats than tricks this year.