The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Guide to Job Hunting: The danger of complacency in your job search

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I have never known the jobs market to be so unpredictable.

There are so many people out of work, yet although there are jobs available it is taking longer and longer to get successful conclusions. Sometimes, this is due to risk aversion on the side of the employers, who can take a lot of time deliberating on recruitment processes, only to find the best candidates swept away by other, more proactive employers. But sometimes, oddly enough, the reason for the lag is that we are struggling to find enough suitably experienced candidates to allow an objective hiring decision to be made.

This is ironic, because although the manufacturing industry has been particularly slow to recover from major redundancies and hiring freezes in 2009, the tide is turning and there are more opportunities available now than a year ago. So where have all the job applicants gone then?

Is it possible that you might be losing out on opportunities because you have become complacent?

It is easy it is to settle into an unproductive job seeking routine, losing sight of goals and no longer pushing to succeed in the face of so much negative feedback.

Every job seeker gets stuck in a rut once in a while. The trick is to snap out of it and break the job seeking bad habits holding you down. Here are five of the most common bad habits that job seekers find themselves sucked into during a prolonged job search

1. Losing focus

While it’s a good idea to widen your horizons and apply for positions outside your immediate field of expertise, if you find yourself applying to anything and everything you see, chances are you’ve lost sight of your  goals. Throwing your CV against as many walls as possible and hoping something sticks is not a job seeking strategy – it is an exercise in futility. Refocus, tighten up your CV and apply to jobs you’re interested in (and capable of performing). Otherwise you’re just wasting your time.

2. Casual job seeking

Apathy is the killer of any job search. It’s easy to fall into the rut of being busy for busy’s sake: The lazy job seeker is the perpetual job seeker. Looking for work is a full-time job – don’t lounge around in limbo or else you’ll find yourself stuck there. As the economy changes, more positions will become available and now is the time for you to grab hold of the opportunities.

3. Doing the same old, same old

If you keep doing the same thing, you will always get the same results. Maybe it is time to change tack. Step outside your comfort zone: Phone a different recruitment agency, join a new social network, try something new. Take risks – call up the company you’ve been avoiding because you were afraid of rejection. Don’t allow fear and uncertainty to rule your life.

4.  Lack of follow through

 As you apply to more and more jobs, it’s hard to keep organized and remember which jobs you’ve applied to. You apply through a career site for one job, fire off a LinkedIn contact request for another, etc… It’s easy to forget to follow up. Keep a spreadsheet where you document everything you do on your job search, and be sure to follow up with notes after you apply to a job or send someone an email.

5. Loss of confidence

The easiest bad habit to fall into is negativity. If you write emails or make changes to you CV or covering letter in the wrong frame of mind, it will be picked up by the person reading it. It’s very easy and understandable to become pessimistic about your job search, but you have to remember to remain upbeat and positive about your worth as a job seeker and about your past accomplishments.

Keeping an organized, positive, and rigorous approach to job seeking is certainly easier to write about than to practice. However, job seekers are particularly vulnerable to falling into bad habits because unemployment is a very difficult time personally – so you have to stay vigilant and attentive. Right now, the market is loosening up and there are more job opportunities available.

Take advantage of them by getting back on the horse! That job might just be waiting around the corner for you.

Written by Cathy Richardson

October 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

Posted in Recruitment

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