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Mistakes people make when searching for a job

I am often asked by clients and contacts why they haven't found a job.  Aside from a lousy economy, here are the most common mistakes I see:

  • First, job seekers need to be crystal clear on the value they bring to the prospective organization. Employers are more concerned about what the candidate will bring to the job than what the job will do for the candidate. It's a really tight market right now and employers can be choosy.  
  • Second, many job seekers do not know how to market themselves.  Limiting the job search to job boards is a big mistake.  In a good market, job boards boast only a 4% success rate (10% for technology positions).  The key with job boards is to register with them and you will be notified when a position becomes available.  Once you've done that, move away from the computer and network (face to face).
  • Finally, most people don't realize that networking is about building relationships and that "givers gain". The more information/job leads/contacts you give to others, the more likely it is that you will be remembered when a job does open up for you.  Using the words "ideas" and "suggestions" when you are networking will enable you to discover opportunities you may not know exist.