5 Things Not To Do During Your Job Search


Calling or emailing your friends, family and colleagues when you are looking for a new job may seem like the natural route. In fact, many experts say, if you know how to concisely guide people to help you, you should do just that.

However, like any advice, you should use discernment before applying it to your life.

With the wide-open Internet forum and the ease and speed with which we are able to ping, email, send instant messages and privately or publicly reach out to one or a thousand people in a single ‘shot,’ individuals in job search not only are overwhelmed, but also are overly eager to get traction in a way that may not be in their long-term best interests.

Following are five tips regarding what not to do when conducting your job search, particularly because these behaviors may turn off just those people you intend to appeal to (and who might even be able to help).

1. Don’t forward your resume to all of your friends, family and colleagues with a request they pass it on to someone they know looking for your expertise in financial management, start-up retail operations, product development or whatever. Instead, research the types of companies and individuals for whom you can articulate a specific, proven solution to their problems and then find a no-pressure way to present your solution. Then, take your foot off the gas – step away, relieve them from your emotional push to have them help you.

2. Don’t apply to a company and then name-drop your friend’s name that works there without their permission. This one speaks for itself.

3. Don’t partner with a resume strategist and expect them to be your savior. As well, since their primary role is to pull together the intimately fine threads of your career story, don’t stonewall them from your achievement details.

Moreover, seeking out a career storyteller who will also hook you up with a recruiter is probably not a valuable use of your or their energy.

While some recruiters have successfully stepped into the resume-writing field, straddling the two distinct, yet complementary sectors, in most instances, that is not the case. Ultra focused on best practices for building compelling and layered career stories and constantly sharpening their marketing communications tools, resume strategists would find their performance plummet if they concurrently spent the necessary time and intellectual effort required to unearth the right recruiter with the current, perfect-fit opening for you.

And besides, recruiters aren’t placement agents; they are hired and work for companies to hunt for that hard-to-find, often passive candidate through their own professional sleuthing and networking. Receiving referrals from resume writers, unless the two are in constant contact about current searches, is not likely to net a return on time.

4. Don’t expect anyone to be your savior. Job search and career management processes have changed dramatically in the past decade, and even just the recent two or three years. What hasn’t changed is the protocol of job search, which is to do the hard yards for your own job search, figuring out and executing on your plan to seek out and land that next great gig.

This generally takes time, thought work and energy, and often is a circuitous journey that may end up taking months, and even years to achieve your ultimate goals – versus a miraculous leap from unemployed to ecstatically reemployed.

5. Don’t be glum. No one wants to be around a negative Nellie. Feeling blue? Don’t wallow. Instead, seek sunshine therapy and laughter. Of course, everyone needs a release for negative feelings – do that first, of course, but then assert your desire to march forward, optimistically. Fake it until you make it, as they say. It works, and often creates just the traction you need to move your job search from stagnant to lift-off!