Why? Well, just to give you a perspective on some of the common mistakes that many people make when looking for a job.
And just to get things straight, I'm not trying to make this a joke at all. In all seriousness, unemployment is a major problem, especially among young professionals. Recent studies show that only around 73% of college grads who'd earned a bachelor's in the past year are employed. Although this doesn't sound too dreary, when we compare this data to that of 1994 - where 87% of college grads were employed - it's a different story.
Therefore, the situation is serious, and calls for some serious measures. My guess is that you don't want to be the worst job seeker on the market. So in the end, I hope that this unconventional form will make the whole issue easier to grasp and to take action on.
1. Having a "This Position Is Way Below My Expectations" Mindset
By far, this is the biggest growth and career killer of them all...
It goes something along the lines of: "This isn't for me. They don't pay nearly as much as I want to earn."
What's wrong with this mindset is that finding a job is, essentially, not the end result when it comes to career building. It's just one of the steps on your journey. In other words, you will never find success if you're not willing to work for it one step at a time.
Sometimes, taking a job that presents opportunities to grow as a professional is a great idea, even if the salary is not that stunning. That's because what comes next are more opportunities for better positions.
2. Not Having a Presence in Your Niche or Area of Expertise
If you don't take any steps to interact with people in your area of expertise then you will always be a person whom no one knows, or even worse, whom no one has even heard of. This will make your efforts at job hunting much more difficult.
Joining some ongoing discussions these days is more than easy. All you need to do is find relevant websites, interesting Twitter discussions, popular LinkedIn groups, plus some online local communities, and then actively take part in them.
This can give you an edge when a prospective employer sees your name and realizes that they actually know who you are because they saw you on X saying Y.
3. Lacking a LinkedIn Profile
Let's stick to the topic of social media for a moment. It's a known fact that over 90% of hiring managers and recruiters use LinkedIn in their recruitment process. For that very reason, not making LinkedIn an integral part of your online presence is a huge mistake.
The funny thing is that it really isn't that difficult to make your profile look good. Just start by spending an afternoon crafting good descriptions, then network with people in your area to make some contacts and, hopefully, earn some endorsements.
4. Having Bad Privacy Settings on Facebook
Facebook is the second most used social media platform by recruiters. Actually, you should assume that a recruiter not only might, but actually will see your Facebook profile when doing their research.
Now, I'm not here to tell you that you shouldn't post weird personal photos on your profile...that's just life, and some weird stuff is always going to happen to all of us eventually. What I advise instead is to only set your privacy settings right.
In short, make some of your albums available only to your close friends. So whenever a recruiter comes across your profile, they will only see what you've approved them to see.
5. Having No Website
Websites are the resumes of the 21st century. There's no better way of proving that you're an expert in, say, PHP programming than having a blog devoted to teaching people how to program in PHP. This principle can be applied to pretty much any profession.
The reality is simple, the fact that you say you are good at something has much less impact than actually showing that you indeed are. Doing it through a website gives you maximum exposure.
6. Not Letting Employers Find You
The idea of having a website is not only about possession. What you need to do is put in some effort to make this website visible on the web. This basically means learning a thing or two about SEO.
I know the topic of SEO can be scary and not everyone is that eager to read about it, but you should at least learn the basics of on-page SEO to make your site optimized and readable for the search engines. If Google can't read your site, they won't rank it. And if they won't rank it, no recruiter will ever find it among thousands of other sites.
7. Relying Only on Publicly Available Job Listings
Responding to publicly visible job listings is the main thing people do when looking for a job. It's the obvious approach. But as it turns out, the non-obvious techniques are often more effective.
Therefore, apart from your standard job listing hunt, consider directly reaching out to companies that you think could benefit from your skills and experience. Present yourself in an attractive way, link to your real estate on the web (it's where websites and social profiles come handy), and explain why you are the person to work with.
8. Not Following Up in a Timely Manner
Unfortunately, this mistake is way too easy to make. I bet we all had this one time when we sent an email one day too late to get/receive/obtain something of value for us. The same thing goes for job hunting.
Now, I'm not saying that you should check your email every 5 minutes. This is really unproductive. What I advise instead is to create a habit of working with email just two times a day. During that time, it's your job to respond to every email you get. Such a session may take a while, but it will give you certainty that you're on top of things.
This sums up the list of 8 steps to becoming the worst job seeker on the market and, at the same time, 8 steps to not be that person. I hope you'll take action on the advice here and make sure you're not making any of the mistakes I described.
Yasir Khan is the founder of Quantum SEO Labs an SEO and marketing company dedicated to helping businesses reach their desired customers through search.