Three Job Search Mistakes: Or Tommy Can You Hear Me?

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: June 5, 2002 - 11:00 PM

Is your job search going nowhere?

You can blame the economy or the summer hiring slump. You'll have lots of company if you do.

Or ... you can look to yourself. Are you secretly sabotaging your job search?

You might be.

Let me tell you the story of "Tommy" (not his real name), who is managing to do almost everything WRONG in his job search. Learn from three of his career-killing mistakes, which can rob you of the salary and satisfaction you deserve!

Tommy first called me three weeks ago, asking if I could help him write a resume. He said he wanted a pharmaceutical sales job because his aunt and a cousin made good money at it, and he heard it was interesting work.

But he said nothing about actually WANTING to do this job. When I asked, he replied: "Everyone says I should give pharmaceutical sales a shot."

Lesson #1: Find a job you WANT to do.

Tommy is setting himself up for misery by pursuing a job based on the "helpful" advice of others.

Unless you're passionately committed to the job you seek, you won't pursue it with enough gusto to be successful in the long run.

Tommy wanted a new resume to apply for jobs he'd seen posted on the Internet. When I asked if he were also networking for a job, he answered: "Networking? How do you do that?"

Lesson #2: The best jobs are never advertised in the classified ads or online.

They're filled by word of mouth -- people talking to other people.

Tell every single person you know about the job you're after. Then ask them this magic question: ''Who else do you know that I should be talking to?'' This can double or triple the size of your network almost overnight. Try it!

After asking for my e-mail address and promising to send his resume to me that afternoon for review, he hung up.

Six days later, his resume arrived by e-mail. I sent him a reply and thought I might hear back from him in a day or two.

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