Episode 3: Losing your job can be a bitter blow but if you play it right, it can also be a blessing in disguise. Jane Jackson talks about how to turn trauma into triumph. “There are 7 common mistakes that job seekers make and can be avoided through careful assessment, research and planning.”
MISTAKE NO. 1 – You are not ready
You’re still hurting from being in a difficult situation. A big mistake is to market yourself when you are still feeling emotional and your confidence is at low ebb. It’s best to market yourself after you have acknowledged the change, acknowledged that there are some things you cannot change and identified the things you can. “The key is to remember you are still the same competent professional you’ve always been and you have a mountain of value to offer the right employer in the right environment. If you don't believe in yourself, who will?”
Take time to rebuild your self-confidence and get into the right frame of mind for the job search.
MISTAKE NO. 2 – You don’t know what you want and what’s important to you
You haven’t assessed what drives you in your career or what your specific skills, knowledge and key motivators are. You may be applying for roles that are not suited to you. To make successful applications you must know what makes you tick and the reasons why a role appeals to you. As you go through to the interview process, employers will want to know how close a ‘fit’ you are to their needs, their corporate culture and team environment. You need to prepare well so that you can eloquently communicate your value, key drivers and be authentic in your responses.
MISTAKE NO. 3 – Your resume and communication strategies are haphazard
You’re sending out the same generic resume and cover letter for every application and not getting a positive response. Your resume and cover letter often are the first point of contact with the screener. Take time to tailor your resume and cover letter effectively for each and every role.
When people ask you how they can help you, you communicate ineffectively because you haven’t thought about how you are going to position yourself. Create a strong positioning statement and know what you will say when you are asked, ‘So why are you looking for a job?’
MISTAKE No. 4 – You don’t look the part in person or online
You haven’t thought enough about the image you are projecting to others. Before they even meet you they may be able to view your LinkedIn profile and other social media sites and they will form an opinion of you before that first handshake. Have you positioned yourself honestly and professionally?
You haven’t done your research to find out what will be appropriate attire for the interview and on the job. As first impressions are so important and you only get a few seconds to make a first impression, think about what others see when you walk into a room.
MISTAKE No. 5 – You don’t know how to use all the job search methods effectively
You have been focusing mainly on advertised roles and missing out on expanding your network to uncover the hidden jobs. You don’t know how to network effectively, what to say and what to ask for. You are getting frustrated with recruitment consultants, as you don’t know what they are really looking for. You are on LinkedIn but you’re not using it to your advantage. Take time to improve your networking skills, learn how to communicate your value to recruiters and how to leverage LinkedIn effectively.
MISTAKE No. 6 – You are not able to convey your value in interviews
You have not been preparing for your interviews effectively. Or you’ve prepared and when you start talking you oversell and come across as overly confident. The key to successful interviews is to prepare, prepare, prepare! Employers are looking for someone to provide the functional skills and the soft skills required for the role, and one who is willing to work they way that fits with the culture of th