Stuck in unemployment hell? You may be committing one — or all — of the seven deadly sins of online job hunting.
You’ve been looking all over for a job. But it seems no matter what you do, you just can’t land one. The stress kicks in. Constant rejection destroys your confidence. And you’re getting desperate.
You ask yourself why.
Well, without knowing it, you could be committing one or more of the seven deadly sins of online job hunting.
1. Beware of showing your wrath online
Recruiters and hiring managers can run background checks on you. So if you’re someone who has no qualms about showing your darker side on the Web, beware. Racy statements and photos can turn off potential employers.
Posting angry updates directed toward your former employers and colleagues can reflect negatively on you. Same goes for half-naked photos, sexist or racist remarks, intimate details about your love life, and what you saw in the toilet this morning.
2. Don’t let greed dictate your dream job
Never let the hunt be all about the money. While pay is a big factor when looking for a job, online or off, don’t let it be your only requirement. Doing so will blind you from considering other aspects of the job that may later put you in a position you’d pay a lot to get away from.
Instead of making it all about the dollars, look into:
- Relationships. How does this client or employer work with freelancers or employees?
- Career development. Can this company help with your professional growth?
- Work-life balance. How many hours will you be expected to put in each week?
- Autonomy. Will you have creative freedom?
3. Sloth is your worst enemy
If you don’t spend enough time customizing and updating your cover letter, resume and online profiles — or you don’t even have all of the above — you better start now. Update your skills and use the right keywords for the job you hope to land. If you’re a freelancer looking for online work, optimize your profile on job sites.
Don’t wait for jobs to come to you. Do the work:
- Network and reach out to make new connections.
- Work on honing your skills or acquiring new ones to avoid intellectual stagnation.
- Commit to regular exercise and take care of yourself.
4. Let go of your pride, even just a bit
So you held a high-ranking position in your old company? You were a bigshot in school?
You need to get over it. Sure, you don’t want to seem needy when looking for a job. But that doesn’t mean you should refuse to ask for referrals or even ask around for job opportunities.
Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a professional. It shows humility. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) And many employers would rather work with a humble yet confident person than a self-entitled know-it-all.
5. Curb your lust for shiny objects
You attend numerous paid webinars, buy a ton of job-hunting ebooks and pay for subscriptions to job lists. Yet you still don’t have a job. But you do have Shiny Object Syndrome.
The act of buying can trick you into thinking you did something productive. In reality, you fail to apply what those ebooks and webinars advise you to do because you’re already running toward the next shiny object. You’re trapped in a cycle of consumption with no action.
Focus on what you need to know and do. If a product or service is redundant or doesn’t help you achieve your goal, ignore it.
6. Gluttony can kill your chances of getting hired
You respond to many different job openings without caring about the posted qualifications, yet somehow you hope you’ll get lucky.
The most crucial gluttonous mistakes you can commit when you do this include:
- Applying for positions that need qualifications you lack.
- Sending the same application to multiple recruiters and hiring managers without customization.
- Submitting the same application for different positions in the same company (yes, this happens).
When you apply for a job, take time to get to know the company. If you play it like a game of luck instead of a professional application process, you hurt your chances of getting employed.
7. Focus on inspiration, not envy
Career success stories are great because they give proof of what’s possible. But watch yourself once you start feeling jealous of the success of others. Use success stories as inspiration and not a source of envy.
Another person’s success doesn’t diminish your own. Be kind to yourself and stop comparing your accomplishments, or lack thereof, to others’.
Your job hunt is about finding the job you want and love, not somebody else’s.
Knowing which mistakes to avoid can go a long way in helping you secure the job you want. Apply for the positions you’re qualified for, work a little harder and focus a little more, and shorten your stay in unemployment hell.
Have you committed any of these sins unknowingly? Share your plans for redemption in the comments below!