How to search effectively for a new position

I received a call the other day from a veteran security industry professional that was suddenly laid off and need the assistance of a security industry recruiter. He hadn’t had to search for a job in quite some time. After sharing how he had been searching on his own, it became clear that he was not being effective with his efforts.

He told me hadn’t spent much time during his career networking and that he didn’t have much of an online presence on LinkedIn or other social media sites. He figured he could find a job on the job boards.

He went on to say he didn’t know of many resources to use to find out information about companies online – and he asked me if it was important to take the time to research companies that he might apply to or interview with. Instead he thought it might be best to just apply online to as many jobs as possible figuring the more positions he applied for, the more opportunities to interview and secure a new job.

Now, it’s not his fault that he was making mistakes that could hinder his job search. Rather, he didn’t have a clue how he could job search more effectively, because he hadn’t been in the job market for many years and didn’t know how much job searching has changed over the last several years.

So, let’s talk about some of worst job search mistakes you can make. What are some of the major mistakes that can bring your job search to a screeching halt before it even gets going? There are also many smaller mistakes that, given a competitive job market, can be enough to knock you out of contention for a job. Be sure to avoid all of these job search mistakes so you maximize the time and effort you invest in the job search process.

The Shotgun Approach

I don’t post online all of the job searches I conduct. Most of the time, I have a candidate already in my network or can quickly get a quality referral. However, for those searches where I do post the job online I am always surprised by the high number of unqualified candidates who take the time and effort to respond. There isn’t any point wasting your time applying for jobs that you’re not qualified for. It’s a waste of time, energy, and effort. Instead, take the time to focus your job search and apply to jobs that are a match for your skills and experience. Then target your resume and cover letter to show the hiring manager why you’re qualified at first glance.

Blowing the Interview

What shouldn’t you do when interviewing? It’s often the little things that trip you up in an interview. Spend time preparing to interview so these don’t happen to you! Role play interviewing with a friend or family member. Contact us at Pinnacle Placement for a free guide to interview preparation.

Spellcheck and Proofread

Check your resume, your cover letter, and every single email you send for grammar and spelling – even if it’s just a quick email or LinkedIn message to a networking contact. Use full sentences and paragraphs, regardless of how you are communicating. Writing job search correspondence that reads like a text message is a surefire way to knock you out of the running for a job.

Unorganized Job Search

Given how much email most of us get, it’s really easy to miss a message or to forget to follow up in a timely manner. Taking a few minutes to organize your job search effort is a great way to get your job hunt off to a good start. There are free tools you can use to organize and track of all your job search activities. Take advantage of them and stay on top of your job search.
Failing to have an Online Presence

Most companies that are seriously interested in hiring you are going to use Google to find out as much as possible about you. If you don’t take the time to create an online presence, you will come up short when measured against candidates who have taken the time to build a presence. At the minimum, you should have a LinkedIn Profile that’s complete with your work history and some recommendations.

Neglecting to Research the Company

When you go into a job interview without having researched the company, you’re not going to have a clue about what the company’s goals are, how you can fit into the organization, and what you can offer the company. When you take the time to research companies, you will be able to find out everything you need to know about a company before you sit down for an interview. In addition, you will be a well-prepared candidate for the job.

Narrow Focus on Posted Jobs

Do you have a list of companies you would like to work for? If you do, use the Internet to discover information about the company, review open positions, and find connections and a recruiter to help you apply for jobs that may not have been advertised yet. If not, get started on tapping the hidden job market, which are the jobs that aren’t advertised. A large number of jobs are never posted online and you’ll have an edge if you can use a connection or security industry recruiter to help you find and apply for them.

Poor Attitude

Frustrated, discouraged, feeling like you’ll never find the right job for you? Did you hate your last job? Was your boss a jerk? Keep it to yourself, or at least to yourself and your friends and family. Despite how hard it can be, it’s important to stay positive when communicating with networking contacts, recruiters, and hiring managers. Nobody likes a complainer, even if your complaints are legitimate. So, do your best to come across as positive, especially when you’re interviewing.

Good Luck!

David Lammert

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