By Amit De
Quit blaming your failed job search on a down economy; it's time to evaluate your efforts instead. While no job seeker likes to hear that his strategies are failing, it's important to know when your practices need revising -- or should be dropped altogether.
So rather than letting job search frustrations take a toll on your attitude and confidence, consider these six reasons that your job search might be failing:
1. You have a negative attitude or lack of confidence.
The job search is frustrating, tiring, degrading and a whole other slew of negative adjectives. It's important to not let the search eat away at you and ruin your outlook. So much of the job search can be related to your composure and attitude, so it's essential to stay positive.
In fact, your attitude is the only part of the job search that you can control. A positive attitude usually generates a level of confidence that can be gauged in applications, emails, online and, most importantly, in an interview. Do whatever it takes to stay positive and confident.
2. Your online presence is non-existent (or vulgar).
Social recruiting is on the rise this year, with more than 80 percent of job openings being recruited for online. Dozens of companies are now launching tools to help recruiters search for job candidates through social media.
For job seekers, it's absolutely imperative that you not only have the necessary social media profiles, but that your online brand be sparkly clean. If you don't have them already, it's time to generate a LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and any other social media profiles recruiters could use to find you.
Don't ruin your chances of a potential interview or job offer by allowing your social media profiles to be anything less than professional. Google your name for insight into what employers will see when they search for you. If the results are less than professional, it might be time to check your privacy settings or have your friends untag those college drinking pictures on Facebook.
3. You're looking in all the wrong places.
Don't let the lure of major job boards ruin your job search. Too many job seekers waste time and energy only applying to openings that have been posted on the major job boards. Not only does this categorize you as a less-than-dedicated job seeker; it's the equivalent of tossing your resume into a tower-sized stack of applications.
Stick to niche job boards within your industry to get the benefits of smaller candidate pools and more accurate job search results. There's also an increased level of interaction that comes with applying directly to niche job boards, because the contact information of hiring managers is usually more readily available.
4. You don't know how to network.
The job hunt may leave you spending the majority of your time as a hermit, living in front of your computer. The ability to successfully generate a network of professional connections is just what you need to turn your job search around.
Effective networking isn't just about knowing someone and asking them to put in a good word for you; it's about building a mutually beneficial relationship where you can learn more about companies, positions, industries and even your own career path. Take the right steps toward creating better networking connections by seeking out mentors and actively listening and learning from their experiences.
5. Your resume isn't up to par.
There's no room in this competitive job market for a bad resume. It takes only five seconds for a hiring manager to scan your resume and decide which pile it's going into. Too much text, lack of formatting, grammatical and spelling errors, and downright poor content are sure to send your resume to the recycling bin.
Do whatever it takes to create a resume that represents you in a concise, easy-to-read format.
6. You never ask for advice.
There are generally two forms of job seekers: Those who ask for too much and those who ask for too little. It's important to find a happy medium, but remember that asking for job search and industry-related advice is both acceptable and necessary to land a job.
Utilize your networking connections and attempt to build a mentor-like relationship to allow for a two-way communication chain founded on asking questions and learning from experiences. Advice doesn't mean asking someone to find you a job; it means gaining insightful knowledge that will help you along your career path.
What mistakes do you think are all too common when it comes to job searching?
Amit De is the CEO and co-founder of Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that can cut the time to apply in half. Connect with Amit and Careerleaf on Facebook and Twitter.
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