Job search is hard-work. It’s stressful and riddled with anxiety. Do not exacerbate it by letting highly charged emotions drive bad behavior when you’re looking for a new job. Always remember that the economy is uncertain, bad attitudes are ablaze and the competition becomes fiercer than ever. It is so pathetic that job seekers struggle with maintaining poise, hope and focus. With that, targeted, positive and actionable behaviors are what create the perfect storm for meaningful outcomes in today’s job hunt. Avoidable job search behaviors abound. We’ve unearthed five unhealthy job search habits you must steer clear of, to ensure a more robust result:
1. CONTACTING HUMAN RESOURCES AND RECRUITERS RIGHT OFF THE BAT
The first, according to top career experts, is contacting human resources and recruiters right off the bat. While this seems to make sense, you want to start at the source. Instead, reach out to the hiring manager first. It’s best to get a referral before contacting him or her too, so that you can provide them with some context and start off on a strong foot.
2. BEING CONSTANTLY PLUGGED IN
If you are always “on,” your brain will never defrag from all the bits and bytes of information that you continually absorb from Google or LinkedIn searches, blog posts, job boards, company websites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more. as well, constantly texting or private messaging friends, colleagues or family to chitchat about this or that, to kvetch or to discuss job search strategy is not healthy. You have to give your brain and your emotions a break in order to present your value, with focused, unfettered energy and optimism.
3. MAKING THE INTERVIEW ALL ABOUT YOU
The third unhealthiest behavior has to do with making interview all about you. Yes, the hiring manager or recruiter wants to get to know you, but the interview shouldn’t be self-serving. Rather, you are telling them about yourself, your skills and your qualifications for their benefits. Think of the interview as being all about the company for which you’re interviewing to avoid coming off as totally self-involved.
4. PROVIDING REFERENCES WITHOUT PERMISSION
If you’re going to list a name of someone who can verify your credentials, tout your value and sing your praises. Then ask them for their consent to be a reference first. When your former colleague, boss or other business contact receives an unexpected phone call or email from a recruiter or human resource professional on your behalf, this sends immediate signals that you have not exercised proper professionalism and respect. Making an assumption that they will vouch for you is no excuse for lack of courtesy.
5. TAKING SHORTCUTS
Sure, online job search sites have their value, but they aren’t the only outlet you should utilize in getting a job. Don’t just post your resume to an online job board and then complain for weeks that nothing has happened. Get your hands – and your resume – dirty. Call hiring managers. Find out businesses that are hiring. A little face-to-face or phone-to-phone interaction in the initial stages of the process might put you at the front of the pack.