Looking for a job is hard enough. But some people make it even harder because of their own shortsighted attitudes and beliefs about the process.
For example, career strategist John Lees says some people are convinced they’ve got it all figured out – they know what it takes to get hired, and they need no advice on the matter. But while basking in their unfounded arrogance, they may not notice their lackluster, unorganized resume, or that they really don’t know what the market is looking for, or they don’t really give much notice to the signals they send during job interviews that turn off employers.
A similar attitude is exhibited by the person who is set in his ways. He or she does things a certain way because he has always done things that way, and he is not about to change now. So, he too doesn’t notice that his effort at the interview really isn’t working too well, but it’s the way he has always approached an interview. He too isn’t about to change his resume because he has written it up the way he always has.
Another example of people shooting themselves in the foot is the person who erects a wall of anger as a defense mechanism. He is not going to do anything differently because the job market is unfair, impenetrable, or rigged. These imaginings all trigger his ire and his unwillingness to admit that things may not actually be as he sees them. And it may be that he or she only needs to change a few things to get better results.
Other people work against themselves by engaging in a lot of useless activity, while convincing themselves they are doing real work. For example, instead of getting out and networking, they continually draw up lists of people they are going to talk to. Or they send out bunches of resumes to places they know little about. Or they spend all of their time on LinkedIn to avoid having to meet with real people.
All of these kinds of people are caught up in the idea that a job search is relatively easy and straightforward, when in reality it is not. A job search, Lees says, is about influencing people, communicating well, creating your own brand, all skills that take time and effort to develop.
You need to plan ahead, Lees says, to determine how you are going to make the best use of your time and to determine what strategy will be the best to use. Employers will take note of how you look for a job, Lees says, because it gives them some indication as to how you will perform once you get the job. So, make sure you don’t treat the job search in too cavalier a way.