Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects?

Job seeking is usually not an enjoyable process, it can be stressful and challenging. A staggering 91% of people aged under 35 believe that they will stay in any job less than three years. A recent study called Multiple Generations @ Work surveyed nearly 1200 workers and found that most believed that they would have between 15 - 20 “serious” jobs in their lifetimes. That represents lot of job seeking opportunities.
With this in mind, looking for a new job may come about because of necessity or choice, either way, you’ll need to have the skills to impress potential employers.

Has your job search stalled? Are you sending off resumes and not getting any interviews? Perhaps it’s not your resume that’s the problem. There are plenty of reasons why your job search might stall. Are you guilty of any of the following points?

Habit #1: You have become lazy in your search

At first you scanned the job pages for hours a day, you committed to applying for a certain number of jobs each week and you re-wrote every cover letter and tweaked your resume to reflect each potential employer’s needs. Now, you’re simply sending off rote resumes, half-heartedly, and wondering why you’re not getting anywhere.
The solution? Try something different to reinvigorate yourself. Take a part time job or some freelance or intern work to get yourself out of the house and back into the working mindset.

Habit #2: You polarise people at interviews

How are your “soft” or “interpersonal skills?” Many people say that even though qualifications are important, it’s the attitude of the candidate that gets them across the line. “Culture fit” is now something that organisations pay special attention to and if you’re not personable from the get-go, this could be harming your prospects.
The solution? Take extra time and care to connect genuinely with people. And not just the people in charge either. When you’re at an interview, make eye contact, don’t fidget, be on time and look presentable. These small things can make a big difference.

Habit #3: You fail to connect

Maybe you are a personable individual, but you’re still not the type of person who’s getting ahead and being promoted. Perhaps you are simply failing to connect, or listen to people. This is particularly imperative in the job-seeking process where you may only have a short time to make your influence felt.
The solution: Forbes magazine give 6 “new” rules of connecting with people. They suggest: Be genuine and provide help. Pay attention and connect with people close to you. Be persistent, as persistence wins most battles. Make real friends and remain unforgettable. “All of the above are simple, ways of standing out,” they say.

Habit #4: You aren’t thinking “outside the box”

Are you simply applying for job after job in a vacuum? Have you decided on the type of role you’re aiming for – and are now stuck on it? It might be time to “think outside the box” and do some re-evaluating. Grab a piece of paper or an Excel spreadsheet – whatever works best for you - and write down your top 10 core skills. Assess whether (when broken down like this) that there may be additional avenues to use these skills, aside from the types of job roles you’ve been aiming for.
The solution: People need to constantly reassess their skills and career path to lead happy working lives. If your job search has stalled, it might be time to tweak it slightly and try something new. Be brave and sensible and decide on a different plan of action. It can’t hurt to try something new. You can always go back.

Habit #5: You’ve stopped really trying

Often when we’ve been job seeking for a lengthy period of time, say, over 6 months, our attentions flag and our enthusiasm wanes. The Atlantic recently wrote about a study that sent out thousands of fictitious resumes for positions. It found that when the candidate had been out of work for more than 6 months, this became a disincentive to hire them.

The solution: Don’t become discouraged. Avoid staying out of work too long by taking on freelance gigs or intern work when you’re out of a job. Don’t stop trying, and remain engaged in the job seeking process. Know that if you keep trying, you will eventually become successful.

Habit #6: You don’t have the right qualifications

If you’ve attended to all the points above, it might be time to have a look at your qualifications. These need to be updated constantly, particularly if you work in a corporate or digital environment. Spend some time researching the programs and tools that are in use in your current industry and get yourself trained up on those. Or head to online study as a way of brushing up your employable skills.
The solution: There are now a million ways to get the education you need, often for a low or reasonable cost. If you prefer, you could do adult work experience and offer your services for free, in exchange for gaining some learnings that might lead to a job role down the line.

Habit #7: You fail to follow up

One of the most important parts about job seeking is being persistent. If your job search has stalled, it may be because you simply aren’t placing enough focus on the follow up process as you should be. This can often be the “make or break” when it comes to securing an in-demand job role.

The solution: Business Insider says, “That afternoon or the next morning, send a short, concise email to your interviewer to let them know you value their time and are still interested in the position.” They also suggest to “start with a quick thank you, then mention a specific moment from the interview,” as a way of trying to make a genuine connection.
A final word on your job search

The job market is always in flux and poor conditions one month can lead to better conditions the next. If you’ve been trying to find the right position for a while now, don’t lose hope. The correct job role is out there and the more work you do on yourself and pitching your talents to potential employers while making those genuine connections – the better off you will be.
Tomorrow is a new day. Make the most of it.


Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #1: You’ve become lazy. The solution? Try something different.
Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #2: You polarise people. The solution? Take extra time & care to connect.
Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #3: You fail to connect. The solution: Make time for people close to you.
Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #4: Think outside the box & tweak your job hunting slightly.
Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #5: You’ve stopped really trying. The solution: Don’t become discouraged.
Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #6: You don’t have the right qualifications. The solution: do work experience.
Are these 7 habits killing your job hunting prospects? Habit #7: You fail to follow up. The solution: start with a quick thank you.