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9 Things Effective Job Seekers Don’t Do In Their Job Searches

9 Things Effective Job Seekers Don’t Do In Their Job Searches

Are you interested in making your job search more effective moving forward? If so, then it doesn’t hurt to observe what others avoid to boost their effectiveness.

Here are 9 things effective job seekers don’t do in their job searches. Carefully read them. Upon reading them, you’ll know what habits you should avoid or remove for a smarter job hunt.

1. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underrate The Impact of Their Attitudes.

Effective job seekers don’t proceed without attitude reflection daily. Why? Because they know their attitudes matter in their job search processes.

“Maintaining a positive attitude,” says Harry Urschel, Job Search Coach and Writer, in one of his post, “is one of the most difficult yet most important things you can do for a successful job search. It affects every other aspect of your search and will have a dramatic impact on how you are perceived by potential employers.”

So, one of the best things you can do is step back and reflect on your attitude. Are you pushing through positively or negatively? Are you allowing the frustration, associated with looking for a job, get you down?

Please know your decision influences the way you manage your job search. And, if you want to get through this process with your sanity, then you must foster a positive attitude. A few ways to stay positive in a challenging job hunt include: keeping hope alive, moving onward after rejections, and building your skills through activity.

2. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Sacrifice their Health and Well-Being.

Effective job seekers don’t sacrifice their well-being for long hours of job searching. These job seekers know they must take care of themselves, if they want to get through their job hunts effectively.

Without taking care of yourself, you’ll reach the point of exhaustion. And, you’ll stretch yourself too thin.

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Several healthy ways to take care of yourself are:

  • Feeding Your Body.
  • Quenching Your Thirst.
  • Getting the Sleep You Need Every Night.
  • Staying Physically Active.
  • Taking Breaks When Necessary.
  • Engaging in a Hobby.

There’s an urgency to land a job, but you must still take care of yourself.

3. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Focus on Full-Time Hours.

You might’ve heard the saying: “looking for a job is a full-time job.” Right? Well, effective job seekers know this isn’t solid advice.

They don’t focus on meeting so many hours a week. They know a full-time (40 hours/week) job search affects your well-being and effectiveness. There’s no way to keep going, in this way, without experiencing burnout, frustration, and inefficiency.

When you don’t set limits in your job hunt, it consumes you. It takes up your full day, if you allow it. This isn’t healthy for someone out of work and already dealing with unemployment.

What you should do instead is: put in a full-time effort as opposed to full-time hours. Designate time, your mornings or your evenings, for example, to job search activities. And, put forth your best efforts throughout this time.

Also, shut your job search down when it’s time. Set and keep time boundaries in place. Hallie Crawford, Career Seekers Coach, says:

“Establishing boundaries with your time can be another way to maintain balance during your {career} transition.”

4. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Break Time.

You might think setting aside a break time is a counterproductive activity. But, effective job seekers know it isn’t.

Nothing’s wrong with taking a break from your job search activities to rest, when you need it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests five minute breaks every hour.

You can do several things doing your break: read inspirational material, take a walk or stretch, recount the good things of the day, or get out of the house for a while.

Breaking is a good way to prevent burnout, stress, and overwhelm in your job search. But, you must be intentional about this time to avoid procrastination.

5. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Blindly Apply and Interview.

Effective job seekers don’t blindly apply and interview for jobs. They don’t walk around thinking:

“I’ll apply to (and interview for) as many jobs as I can to increase my chances of getting a job offer.”

They know better. They know you must be realistic in your job search. They also know time is too precious for wasting on mass job application submissions.

Instead of blindly applying and interviewing, you should bring intentionality into your search. Target your job search. According to Eli Amdur of Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group, a targeted job search includes:

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  • Identifying the Business or Occupation You’re Interested In.
  • Researching the Leading Companies by Culture, Leadership, Products, and Market Positions.
  • Determining Whether You Can Grow Within Company.
  • Figuring Out Logistical Issues, such as the Commute, Working Hours, and Extra Taxes.
  • Rating Your Potential Happiness at the Targeted Company.

You prepare your application materials based on what you learn through research. You’ll also know everything you need to know before your interview.

6. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Submit “One Size Fits All” Resumes and Cover Letters.

This relates to number 4 above, but I must emphasize it here.

Effective job seekers know quality matters in their job searches. They don’t submit a “one size fits all” resume because they know you must speak directly to the needs of the job.

If you don’t tailor your materials for every job, then you don’t show your ability to perform the job.

Instead, consider the targeted job search approach already discussed. And, prepare your resumes and cover letters accordingly.

7. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Let Employment Rejections Halt their Efforts.

The longer your job search, the more rejections you receive. And, while others tell you not to take these rejections personally, I won’t. I can’t. Why? Because I’ve taken them personally in my job search.

There’s no way you can’t, when you’re putting forth your best efforts. However, you shouldn’t let these employment rejections halt your efforts.

Employers reject you, and this rejection stings. But, bounce back from these rejections and move forward. And, when you bounce back, remember the words of Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO of Human Workplace, in her Forbes article:

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“You can’t squander it {i.e., your mojo} worrying about whether you’re acceptable to other people, or not. You learned something on each of your interviews and each of your recruiter calls. That’s magnificent. How else would you learn?”

8. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Stop Maturing Mentally.

Effective job seekers don’t stop learning. They use time outside of job search activities to enrich their minds.

They know this is a great investment and do so in many ways: reading books, journals, and (valuable) blogs. Listening to audios and podcasts. Volunteering or freelancing. Taking a class or two.

And, they build skill(s) while job searching. They know these skill(s) are beneficial, professionally and personally.

So to you: how will you keep enriching your mind? What skill(s) are you interested in learning? How will learn?

You make room for learning and skill-building, when you remove those extra hours of job searching. You have time to commit to a project of interest, learn, and apply what you’ve learned.

9. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Forget to Reevaluate Their Strategies Regularly.

Effective job seekers don’t embark on their job searches, without evaluating their strategies regularly. They know they must make improvements when things aren’t working out and do so.

They honestly evaluate their strategies and whether they’re getting any results. Reevaluating your job search approach involves: reviewing your goals, resumes, and activities. And, an effective job search strategy consists of many things discussed here:

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  • Defining Your Job Goal with Specifics.
  • Targeting Your Job Search Approach.
  • Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter for Every Job.
  • Putting Forth a Full-time Effort vs. Full-Time Hours.

Conclusion

Looking for a job takes time and energy, so effective job searching is vital. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what you should avoid while looking for a job. And, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate your job search and make eliminations, where necessary.

Featured photo credit: Rachael Crowe via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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