6 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Own Job Search – and You Don’t Even Realize It

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cloudIt’s been a few years since you last looked for work, but now you’re ready to move on to a new opportunity. And you’re feeling pretty good about it – you’re feeling like you’ve got this.

You head to the big job boards like Indeed and CareerBuilder to search and apply for jobs you know you can do with your eyes closed, and then you wait.

You wait for the phone to ring, but it never does.

That’s because the job market is not what it used to be. What worked in your job search a decade ago doesn’t work in 2017. You’ve been sabotaging your own success without even realizing it. Here’s how:

1. You Have Absolutely No Strategy

If you’re sticking to the popular online job boards, you should know that about 100 people apply to every online job posting. That means you essentially have a success rate of 1 percent on job boards.

Clearly, job boards are not the best option, and you are certainly missing out on opportunities if you don’t put together a serious self-marketing plan. You have to be more strategic about getting in front of the right people – those in positions either to hire you or to refer you to someone who can hire you. It’s all about who knows you.

2. You Think Your Self-Written Resume Alone Will Carry You

The name of the game in today’s job market is standing out and selling your value. That means you have to go beyond the resume – you have to develop a unique personal brand and personal brand message.

Listen: Everyone has experience. It is not a differentiator; it is simply a prerequisite to even being considered for the job you want. Get your resume professionally done, and make sure you are selling your value across your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and networking conversations.

3. You Refuse to Build an Online Presence

resumeIn case you haven’t realized it yet Mr. Flinstone, everything is digital. The first place recruiters and hiring managers go to source and research their candidates is the web. If you’re invisible on the internet, you may want to consider building that personal website and adding that picture to your LinkedIn profile. Trust me, taking the time to differentiate yourself online goes a long way.

4. You’re Afraid of Reaching Out to People You Don’t Know

I get it. I’m an introvert myself. But I had to get over it if I ever wanted to make a name for myself, and so do you.

Between 70 and 80 percent of jobs are never advertised, which means networking is the name of the game in today’s job market. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard clients tell me, “It’s hard to get in because you have to know somebody.” My response is always the same: “Then get to know somebody.”

Go to networking events and industry association meetings, and mingle.

5. You Are Determined to Be a Jack of All Trades

Being open to various opportunities is fine, but if you categorize yourself as someone who can “do it all,” you run the risk of appealing to no one.

Here’s an analogy that might help: Let’s say your house has a roof problem. Would you prefer to hire the handyman who does plumbing, HVAC, landscaping, painting, and roofing, or the expert roofer who dedicates all his time to roofing?

Employers want the expert, and many are are willing to pay top dollar for that person.

6. You’re Feeding Yourself Lame Excuses About Why You Can’t Get a Job

Your industry is hard to break into. You’re too old to get a new job. You’re too young to be in management. You’re not bilingual. There aren’t enough jobs out there. The economy is bad and no one is hiring.

Need I go on?

The reality is that your reality is whatever you decide it is. Stop telling yourself you can’t do it and start owning your abilities, talents, and strengths. Go get what you want – with confidence.

Melanie L. Denny is president of Resume-Evolution  and the founder of My Career Academy.

By Melanie L. Denny