Leadership and career

Job-Seeking Pitfalls to Avoid

CareerBuilder estimates that three in four full-time employees are open to or are actively looking for new job opportunities.  Are you one of them?

If you’re actively looking, then you’re probably familiar with the maxim, “Looking for a job is a full-time job.”  Like most clichés, there’s truth in that statement.  So let’s consider how well you’re performing in the job of a job-seeker.

Here are the most common job-seeker pitfalls.  How do you measure up?

Your search lacks intensity. You spend all day thinking about your job search and talking about it with friends or co-workers – but without actually performing concrete tasks related to getting a new job.

You make a little progress, and then you take a break. It’s okay to take the occasional breather, but don’t celebrate the accomplishment of finally getting your resume updated by taking a few days off to just “coast.” Maintain momentum and effort.

Not dedicating enough time to the process. You’re probably spending less than three hours per week looking for a new position, but research shows people who put more time into their job search find jobs faster.  Bonus: Research also shows that ramping up the intensity of your job search is good for your mood and mental health.

Letting emotions and frustration get the best of you. If finding a new job were easy, you might not be reading this column.  Remember to practice good self-care throughout this stressful process.  Eat right, exercise, get adequate sleep and lean on your support system when you need to.  This advice is common knowledge, but not common practice.

Putting all your eggs in one basket. Regardless of how confident you might be about one opportunity or how excited about one particular company, you must diversify.  Cast a wide net and pursue several opportunities at once.

Failing to get help reviewing your resume. You’re not as good at proofreading your own writing as you might think.  Your resume is a high-stakes piece of paper.  Get as many eyeballs on it as you can, and ask for feedback regarding content as well as spelling and punctuation.

Not diversifying your job search. If you’re spending all of your job-search hours in front of your computer, you’re neglecting networking.  Go find people to talk to at business and social events. On the other hand, if you’re a social butterfly, maybe you’re not spending enough time performing research and due diligence online – so seek a balance.


Maurice GilbertMaurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at maurice@conselium.com or maurice@corporatecomplianceinsights.com.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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