Here are some of the ways that you may be inadvertently hurting your chances at finding a new position:
Your resume and/or cover letter is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors
You may indeed be a great manager, but if you call yourself a “manger” on your resume, you will not exactly make a great impression on a prospective employer. And believe it or not, some people have even misspelled the names of companies they have worked for, which may be cause for immediate rejection by a hiring manager. It is crucially important that you make sure that your resume, cover letter, and even your LinkedIn page have flawless spelling and grammar. You should run spelling and grammar checks on all items, as well as have a trusted friend with a critical eye read everything to make sure that your words are up to snuff.
You have a bad attitude
Looking for a job can be a bit like looking for somebody to date. If you come across as a defeated, depressed person, or somebody who has low self-esteem, you will get about as much play as a potential dating partner would with the same sort of attitude, no matter how much you may have to offer. We understand that you may have good reason to feel down, especially if you haven’t worked in a while, but it is important to come across as a good-natured person with a good attitude. This may entail acting “as if” for a while – if you act more positive about life than you really feel, you might just find yourself feeling good again. You can also work with a career coach or trusted friend to work at presenting yourself in a more dynamic way. Before you know it, you may genuinely have something to smile about.
Your public social media presence is a turn-off
More employers than ever are using social media sites to check out prospective employees. So while you may think it’s cool to have photos of you downing tequila shots at Cabo, your would-be future boss may not think so. In addition to making sure that your public social media profile is G-rated, also do an Internet search on yourself and see what shows up. If there are negative items about you on other sites, try to either get them taken down, or create more positive posts. Establishing and maintaining an active presence on Google Plus is a good place to start – so that the good things will eventually outnumber the bad, and show up first in internet searches.
You don’t have a clearly stated goal, and apply to jobs unrelated to your experience
Sometimes frustrated job-seekers complain how they have sent out over 50 resumes each week, but haven’t heard anything back. It’s no wonder they haven’t. Quantity isn’t quality, and such a scattershot, throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach will not work. Nor will sending resumes to jobs where you do not make it clear that you are qualified for them. Sure, you may have a lot of skills, and be a jack of all trades, but if you don’t clearly state what it is you are looking for, you will be looking for a long time. You may want to work with a career coach or a career counselor to figure out what it is you would like to do, or talk to a mentor on what you should do next.
Lisa Swan writes for Institute for Coaching, a life, executive and career coaching site.