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Top 10 job search mistakes, and how to avoid them

By Marvin Walberg

Ford R. Myers, career coach and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” offers the top 10 job search mistakes that many people make, and explains how to avoid them:

1. Relying on online job postings. Some of the best chances for jobs from ads are in specialty trade publications and websites of specific industries. Myers suggests spending no more than 5 percent of your time on public job postings.

2. Mailing unsolicited resumes. Unsolicited resumes are considered garbage, scrap paper and wasted effort. Myers advocates abandoning this job search tactic completely.

3. Looking only for job openings. Searching for companies with “openings” is an obsolete job-hunting method. Shift your focus from “openings” to “opportunities” (which exist nearly everywhere).

4. Ineffective networking. Networking should be the primary focus of every job search. The best networkers are listeners rather than talkers, have a clear agenda, and are not shy about asking for feedback and guidance.

5. Leaving yourself open to many kinds of jobs. Focus on finding the RIGHT job — not “just any job.” Don’t try to be “all things to all people.”

6. Being unplanned in your search. Myers suggests a well thought out methodology, daily solitude and planning, space in the home dedicated to the search, and a system for accountability. Be 100 percent clear about your job search objective.

7. Doing it alone. The job market is just too tough to think that you can achieve optimal results by yourself.

8. Letting others control your job search. Remember: only you can “sell yourself” effectively and land a job. Myers suggests working with a small selection of professional recruiters, who can serve an important role in your search.

9. Not preparing well enough for job interviews. All job interviews are comprised of five basic elements: articulating your value, conveying your knowledge of the company, asking intelligent questions, negotiating compensation, and following-up. Each of these items has to be practiced in advance so you can “ace” the job interview.

10: Not knowing your market value. Never disclose your salary requirements — always get the employer to name the salary or range first.

Do what others fail to do!

Scripps Howard News Service

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