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Self-sabotage can trip up the unwary job seeker

August 5, 2013 | Posted at 10:27 am

While there are encouraging noises coming from various industry sectors about the current job market, finding the right workplace environment can still be a challenge.

It goes without saying that job seekers need to be fully prepared and committed to the search, especially in terms of securing the coveted interview with a hiring manager or human resources professional. However, while making sure that all bases are covered in terms of a physical presence, the increased use of and reliance on virtual postings or placements can trip up the inexperienced candidate.

According to Fox Business, there are several ways that a job seeker can sabotage their hunt for either a new position or challenge, all of which can be avoided. Some of them may seem to be blindingly obvious to those that believe they are well-prepared for the job search, however, adopting a complacent attitude may inadvertently hinder the hiring prospects of even the most confident individual.

Avoiding self-sabotage
Firstly, failing to build strategic relationships at a prospective employer can be a problem. Studies have shown that the most common way to get hired is through an existing employee referral, with  job seekers using friends or relatives to either find out about an opening or potential positions. Connecting with people on social networks is one way to attach yourself to a prospective workplace environment, or alternatively following the company can ensure that you are ahead of the curve if a job opens up.

The second act of self-sabotage comes in the speed of responding to an online posting. Granted, a steady flow of positions coming into an inbox is confirmation that companies are hiring but, according to the news source, most people spend less than 60 seconds in actually reading what these jobs entail before deciding whether to apply or not. Hiring managers are always complaining that they are swamped with applications that aren’t relevant to the job advertised, so taking the time to digest the requirements can be a huge bonus while at the same time cutting down on the amount of non-replies.

While online postings can be the pathway to a new job, there is an urban myth developing that all good jobs will appear virtually. This is often not the case, with word-of-mouth still deemed to be an accurate representation of what is actually out there as opposed to a virtual slog through positions that may not be what you are looking for.

Showcasing expertise
Creating an online brand is also essential when it comes to the job search process. According to John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University, resumes are great at highlighting skills and experience, but demonstrating ideas though a blog or social media can be a creative means of job search.

“In order to be competitive in today’s marketplace, you must, must create an online outlet for your expertise,” said Sullivan, in an interview with the news source. “So if one of your key strengths is being “solution-oriented,” get creative about how you’ve put that skill to the test. Write a blog post or record a podcast on, say, “The Top Five Problems in Every Workplace and How to Solve Them.”

Finally, there is what is known in the hiring sector as the elevator pitch. In a nutshell, this is a concise explanation as to exactly how your skills would be right for the job, almost as if you were chatting to somebody in the short time that you are in an elevator. Candidates can often get flustered when faced with questions as to who they are and what they do, so developing a “this is me” speech can be a vital tool to have. Dedicated job seekers can test their elevator pitch out before an interview, limiting the chances of self sabotage and ensuring that the hunt for a new job comes to a profitable end.