Seven Deadly Sins of Job Search-2012


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The article title is not an original.  It’s been used in many other career articles. We followed the pack on this one, because we are seeing too many individuals not optimizing their time to meet their goals.

A funny thing happened when researching what the original 7 deadly sins are.  There were more than 7 on the Internet.  The following were listed on different sites: Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Acedia, Hubris, Vanity, Lechery, Boasting, and Sloth to name but a few.  Still we move forward with our article because as we meet and strategize with the unemployed, we too often  hear of behaviors that creep into job search campaigns that can be traps.  They are tempting to spend significant time on, but low on true benefits.

1.       Starting one’s career branding when you are out of work. 

Let’s be clear, career branding is critical to a successful job search.  That said, if you are already out of work, it’s probably too late to truly impact your current job search in quick order.  Personal Brands take time to build and so do relationships.  These are the key ingredients to successful career branding.  (PB+RC = CB) You can start today, but do not expect this to be a quick results path.  Successful career branding simply takes an extended period of time.

2.      Over engineering a resume

The resume remains a key hiring document, but it is more an application than a selling document. It is not the key ingredient to getting hired.  It can serve a role of helping get through HR or recruiting, but in this day and age a LinkedIn profile is probably more important.  Despite these facts, an informal interview by Career Brander suggests the unemployed are changing their resume almost every week looking for the magic mix of words.  This is not a good use of time.  However, to be clear we do support customizing or tailoring a resume to a specific opportunity.  We just think this should be a quick ‘to do’ as opposed to a laborious regular part of your day.

3.      Not embracing technology

There is no doubt, technology and the internet in particular is critical to a modern day job search.  This is where recruiters (external and internal) begin their search for candidates.  Additionally there are lots of social sites, research sites, web tools and optimization software at the job seekers finger tips.  To not use them is like playing a round of golf with only a few clubs.

4.      Utilizing a one-dimensional plan

There are dozens of ways to go about a job search.  To market yourself, you need to utilize multiple channels.  This means networking with friends, former co-workers, former clients, neighbors etc… It means being visible online, being active in your professional community, connecting with recruiters, researching target companies and executing an outreach campaign.  Nurturing every contact and meeting on a consistent basis until such time as you land a job.  Similar to marketing departments at large companies, individuals cannot simply bet on only one go-to market strategy or they will diminish their likelihood of success.

5.      Replacing meetings with screen time

Every sales force in America strives for more time in front of prospects and customers and less time researching, pushing paper and or doing other ‘administrative tasks’.  Job search should be no different.  There is more one can do from their computer than ever before, but the reality is face time still rules the day.  Challenge yourself to spend over 50% of your search time in front of people.  Multiple face to face meetings a day, 4 days a week is a good goal.  Hard to achieve over a prolonged job search, but it still should be your goal.

6.      Missing your value statement

Generalists in business are not getting hired in this market.  Specialists are getting hired.  There are too many resumes, particularly for middle/upper middle managers that all look the same with folks claiming to be good at 6 different areas of business.

In the simplest terms, you solve a pain for companies. It could be work through put, client satisfaction, new revenue, quality oriented or many other things.  Understanding what you solve for and how you then package yourself in a clear concise manner to be the best choice to relieve that pain for a hiring manager is critical.

 7.    Getting discouraged

In the 1992 movie, A League of Their Own Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan says, “There’s no crying in baseball.”  The same can be said for sales or job search.  There will be setbacks. There will be disappointments.  However, perseverance and resilience must rule the day.  Discouragement is a disease that can eat away at a successful job search.  Do not let it happen to you. In the face of adversity, “flush the negative and stay positive.”

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2 Responses to “Seven Deadly Sins of Job Search-2012”


  1. 1 Jason March 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    You might want to spell check your article. 1st point – first line – branding. Actually kind of poetic that it is misspelled in that point.


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