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Question: How do clients lengthen their job search?

Question posed to the following LinkedIn Discussion Groups: Career Talk International, Career Coach Academy, Career Thought Leaders Consortium, Career Curve, Career Coach Forum. Total responses: 128 directly addressing this question. The following themes can have overlap. There was no science in distributing them, I just tried to capture major ideas in the responses. At the end of the group comments, is the list I created for my presentation based on my personal experience and your comments. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

1. Forgetting a positive attitude. It is very common for candidates who have experienced rejection to expect more rejection, which is subsequently and unintentionally reflected in their body language and verbal responses. 2. Giving up when the next job is a letter or phone call away 3. Not behaving in their job search the way they behave in their jobs. This means dressing successfully, communicating positively, being well organized, following up, staying current in their field, expressing sincere interest in their profession and in support of others and planning their time productively. 4. Professionals who just expect everyone to see their worth immediately. 5. Behaving like a job seeker instead of a job hunter. A hunter goes to networking events, makes 30 calls a day and follows up. Sets up meeting with people he does not know, or does not know well, uses the Internet primarily as a tool to identify a company who is hiring and LinkedIn as a potential entree to the hiring manager, he has a clear goal. He explores all avenues of search and knows which produce the best ROI for his investment! 6. Lack of enthusiasm. Interviewing is a relationship building activity. 7. Unprofessional voice mail / unprofessional email addresses. 8. Thinking another person has their interest at heart. Not taking control and owning their career and future. 9. "Fear of success" because it leads to unknown states of existence. 10. Lack of confidence. 11. Expectation that there is an instant answer this is an age of instant gratification after all and if you cannot provide an instant solution they will not engage 12. Fear is another big problem for job seekers. If we help them identify what kind of payoff they get by not moving forward than they might be able to see why they can't reach their goal.

13. Boring people with job search woes, employers and contacts want to hear positivity not panic or boredom - contacts will not put a defeated person in front of their boss (as example). 14. Not being resilient and not perceiving all interactions as valuable learning 15. Attitude... rejection, frustration and desperation will sabotage them very quickly, causing them to use unconscious verbalizations, as well as body language that shows how they feel 16. Fear and lack of confidence can have a paralyzing effect on initiating any of the steps involved in job searching. 17. Buying into negative opinions, as in "there are no jobs, this is the worst economy I've ever seen. 18. P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N 19. Giving up and forgetting to have fun 20. Fear of rejection if one was starting to feel incompetent a their previous employer.

21. There is a lot of apathy out there. If people do not have immediate results they sometimes throw in the towel too early. Remember 6 things: Develop good presentation skills, know your achievements, be armed with good knowledge and up to date information , be self-motivated, take actions on several levels, build and maintain your network.

22. Not realizing that getting a job is a process of being turned down and giving up too soon.

23. Believing that qualifications are more important than the scar tissue of experience.

24. Giving themselves 'wooden legs': I am too old/too young;too inexperienced/too experienced;male/female/gay/white/black/Christian etc to apply.

25. Not spending any money and effort to help themselves look good and healthy.

26. Not having heard or living by the quote of Henry Ford I "If you think you can or if you think you can't your are right."

27. Not trying to break our current candidate record of 253 applications before gaining a position!! (He was 64, wanted a job within 5 miles of home, time off to look after his sick wife if necessary and had to be in Quality Control !!) We tell all our clients PPO persistence pays off.

28. Lack of persistence many job seekers get frustrated and lose focus, procrastinate or just give up altogether.

29. Not believing in themselves. Working on their strengths, seeing what could have gone wrong in previous positions and why will increase confidence and help them to interview authentically - not with buzz words but with engaging success stories.


30. The lack of active engagement in career management activity, especially identifying one's own values and congruent goals, recognizing skills and qualities, and developing networks.

31. Adopting 'a splatter gun approach' to job search. Applying for too many jobs with little discrimination and thus giving insufficient attention and effort to each individual application.

32. Not having a plan and relying on the "buck shot" approach

33. Not focusing on priorities that can make a difference, but rather spend time on timeintensive tasks with low return.

34. Jumping into the job seach without a clear focus. 35. Not preparing compelling stories for interviews and not knowing how to project with high impact . Practice completing a thought exercise about how they would make impact in the first 3 months and year.

36. Missing appointments.

37. Not making sure they are presentable or professional enough...not checking to be sure they are coming across at top game especially in long search.

38. Not addressing their wellness or fitness. Easy for fatigue or depression to set in.

39. No CLEAR picture of what they want...not FOCUSED on that goal. If they keep changing their mind and scattering their efforts...their goal most likely will not come to fruition.

40. Explore themselves fully, values, skills - all of that - but FULLY - before racing headlong into a new role. Half of a programs allocated time s/b spent on exploration.

41. Not having a plan/structure (when unplugged from the company plan and the social contact of colleagues, many unemployed job seekers flail and end up sabotaging their own success)

42. Many people do not want to do the work to figure out what they want and need to succeed and research right targets to achieve that. I find when I talk about this that many people do not understand how to do it. And many also do not see that as a critical part of job search -- they expect a job ad/recruiter to appear and magically meet all their needs.

43. Not being clearly definitive about what they are looking for in their job search. In todays tight job market, clients may want to be "too open" in defining the position they are looking for, leaving recruiters and hiring managers unsure of exactly what they will be bringing to the table.

44. Ready-Fire-Aim approach and then can't understand why they are not getting the results they want. In other words because we live and work in an age of instant gratification many of us are looking for answers before asking the question. People need to be focused on a real target and "a job" does not meet that criteria.

45. They don't take enough credit for the positive contributions they have made - They think employers will know information about them, their jobs, their accomplishments by osmosis.

46. They aren't detailed enough - "I do it all" - what is ALL

47. Not doing the hard work of self reflection and discovery before looking for a new position. When clients have been with a company for 10, 20 or 30 years they are rarely able to clearly and concisely articulate strengths and value they would bring to the organization. Taking the time to really discover and clarify makes the job search and interview process much more productive.

48. Not being able to articulate skills in a way that will really matter to a potential employer - don't just tell me you've done something or can do something, share your Quantifiable Accomplishments so that I can see how you will impact my bottom line.


49. Assuming that the best professional will get the job, thus relegating self-marketing skills to only tacit efforts. Learning any new skill carries the risk of reducing confidence in the initial stages, and learning sophisticated job search skills is no exception.

50. Not having a well-researched self marketing plan that articulates not only a clearly defined career goal, but also a realistic understanding of where they are most marketable.

51. They don't have a plan.

52. What sector (1 or 2 tops): understand the market sector, became familiar with the possible target companies, try to personally know (networking) people working for them, be update with the related news, etc. What channel: choose the most effective channel considering what % of open positions are managed by third parties (recruiters etc), through word of mouth, by open and direct company postings.

53. Failure to adopt the self-marketing because of lack of understanding how the market place operates.

54. Not having a value proposition or personal brand. Not including it in your elevator speech.

55. Job seekers don't realize how much they have to be able to sell themselves. They assume the employer can read between the lines and know what they can do or have done.

56. Not being clear about personal brand and so not being able to articulate what they want and what they offer.

57. Not customizing their job search - sending the same resume and cover letter to apply for every job.

58. Conducting a "reactive", which is responding to ads, versus "proactive" - uncovering unadvertised jobs by having a marketing plan, which consists of the jobs wanted, the industries to explore, the companies in those industries which have those jobs and connecting with the people you know in those companies.

59. Thinking of themselves in terms of job titles and not it terms of their skill portfolio.

an interview. This was true before the Great Recession and they must try even harder now. 61. Not preparing for the interview, they do not fully answer the interviewer's questions, they don't put themself into the role and answer questions by fully being in the role, they don't express interest in being the candidate of choice, they don't follow-up with an email or note that includes a reference to a specific topic covered during the interview, etc.

60. Clients are shocked at how hard they must present and sell themselves in


62. Not being up to date on technology like using LinkedIn, FB and Twitter in their search.

63. Not updating techie skills like the latest version of Excel or what ever your target company uses.

64. Relying on outdated information, an inexperienced recruiter and web sites that cater to the minimal job and wage. 65. Thinking that you do not need to update your computer skills.


66. Not having a list of target companies and networking your way in to know what problems they are facing and identifying how you are the solution to the problem.

67. Spend too much time looking for a job by using traditional methods and not enough time on tapping the hidden job market that is, networking or contacting employers directly.

68. A successful job search requires laser-sharp focus on a desired job target, identification of exactly who to talk with and clarity on exactly what to say. Execution is hard work and most people fail to realize it is worth it! A five year tenure at a $100,000 job means there is $500,000 riding on getting the work done.

69. Not having a "target" in mind as far as their job search is concerned - no one can help you find a job if you aren't sure what you are looking for and Networking is the best way to find a job.

70. Listing job duties instead of focusing on accomplishments on the resume.

71. Continual Resume Revision...In addition to working with individual clients, I lead job clubs...and often observe analysis paralysis in terms of getting a resume completed and then sending it off and using it.

72. Using cliche statements in a resume - like "I'm a team player", "Results oriented" instead show don't tell on the resume.

73. Believing the resume is unchangeable once completed. I tell people to view their resume as a "living document" like the US Constitution that is always subject to change.

74. Trying to say too much on their resumes, and only listing job tasks. They need to describe the benefit their actions brought to the company.

75. Not targeting your resume for each and every position.

76. They post their resume on a giant job board and cross their fingers.

77. Continue to use the same flawed resume that hasn't worked for them. Full of mistakes, typos, grammar problems, subjectivity, etc. Afraid to update and change, because they're emotionally attached, think they can do it, and so on.


78. They don't network.

79. Networkers who fail to develop a relationship before expecting us to open our Rolodex?!

80. Failure to value and cultivate the network they have established during their search and campaign.

81. Not keeping up with your profession (dropping your professional association membership, not taking any webinars, attending meetings, conferences, not belonging to listservs.)

82. Avoiding professional associations and job search networking groups.

83. Do not understand the purpose of informational meetings or how to conduct one.

84. Avoid accountability to anyone. 85. Not thanking people after using their advice and connections.

86. There are many, unfortunately, whose personality prevents effective networking. It is a daunting effort or so far outside their comfort zone that they just won't do it. These folks really have a hard time. For them suggest a mentor, or an outgoing friend to push them a bit, to show it's not that difficult.

87. Applying for jobs they do not qualified for.

88. Applying for jobs which are below their experience level and becoming disheartening when they get the PTD - polite turn down.

89. Not putting in the time to conduct a strategic job search, finding a job is a job.

90. Working with Placement firms/recruiters that are unethical - they send your resume out without your approval or knowledge.

91. Being so committed the tactics that once worked for them that they are unwilling to change those practices, even when it is clear those activities are not yielding anywhere close to the results they need. Resistance to change and stubbornness are deadly traits for a job seeker to have.

92. Unwilling to step out of their comfort zones, invest in their careers or ask for help. What worked 20 years ago will not work today; we all have to adapt and change to remain vital.

93. Relying on agencies rather than searching the hidden job market.

94. Failing to take the advice of professionals because a friend did it 'this way'.

95. Not understanding the there is no such thing as an 'almost job' and not keeping lots of irons in the fire should a turn down come from the promised job.

96. Not understanding that they have a full time job of 'Job hunter' and so not working at least 20 hours a week on their new 'job'.

97. Taking a holiday after job loss ignoring the fact that the longer you are out of a job the more difficult it is to achieve one.

98. Do not manage their time effectively this is a big one.

99. Some people keep themselves confused by seeing too many less-than-ideal options. They don't take action on certain jobs because they believe the jobs are not perfect. It is important for people to identify top priorities in terms of career/workplace needs and at the same time, take action toward getting the jobs that are the closest matches.

100. All too often people sabotage a situation by making too many compromises and then failing for lack of enthusiasm for the position.

101. Job seekers who think that they don't need to "do all of that" (Be strategic about their search, attend networking events, prepare for the interview, etc) because they have gotten jobs in the past by not doing those things. They come back very surprised and humbled about the competition and the amount of work they need to put into their job search.

1.People just wanting a "job". It is very difficult to get people to understand that with starting with self assessment and figuring out "exactly" what their unique gifts and talents are that they can work in a field/career that excites them and they can make a greater impact.

2.Not understanding their communication style. Believing that everyone communicates in the same style; talking in the language of the past, their old jobs, using acronyms and terms that are only used at their previous employer.

3.Lack of updating job search to current terms. They want to come in with a 1985 rsum, do no social networking(LI, FB, Twitter, etc.,), do NOT want to try to Network their way in - that "I can do it on my own steam" mentality. The world has changed drastically since they last looked for work and they need to update their process as much, if not more than, their wardrobe(don't get me started here).

4.20th Century workers trying to compete in a 21st Century job market. It is extremely difficult to change their mind sets; older workers self-imposed and self-created barriers to executing a modern job search.


102. Failure to return calls the same day. Texting is becoming a habit and many people don't answer the phone. Always answer your phone in a job search.

103. Lack of follow up after an interview and/or successful networking connection. That last contact may help a job seeker stand out from the rest.

104. Lack of research, preparation and follow up.

105. Not researching the company, the role, or the interviewer.

106. Failure to learn as much as they can about a company before the interview so they can refine the branding/value proposition to mesh with a prospective employers needs.

107. Improper follow-up...willingness to accept no answer or a rejection without contacting the employer to get answer or know why, OR to try later to see if the hire worked out.


108. Many people shoot out many electronic resumes and think they are done.

109. Staying home and emailing cold resumes, they don't network in person so they can meet people, they waste a lot of non-productive time on the computer, they don't do the necessary research before each interview so they can tell people how their background and skills would be especially helpful. Brief, they don't take a marketing approach to job search.

110. Hiding out behind the computer; to get hired a candidate must interact with decision-makers (and those who can refer them).

111. Spend too much time on the internet and sincerely expect to find a job by responding to ads. 112. Sitting at home in front of the computer and sending out resumes is what the vast majority of job seekers do. It's simply in the numbers. If most people are sending out resumes, then yours just becomes one of those... perhaps hundreds. Somehow you have to stand out. The resume itself may do that, but not likely when there are hundreds of applicants. A client got several valuable leads through friends and professional associates. She got 3 part-time jobs within a matter of weeks and will start full time on a dream job in January. There is really no effective substitute for frequent and focused conversations.


113. Not being open to a longer commute.

114. Not being open to an offer of contract, temp or part-time work in a company you are interested in working for.

115. Making excuses right out of the gate, such as, I don't have a degree, experience in certain industries, too old, too young. They see themselves in the deficit column.

116. Self Talk loops often happen too. "I should do this, but I can't because etc.,, well maybe I should do that, but if I did that it would mean....etc"

117. Being poorly prepared for their job campaign and not making it multi dimensional. Including Networking and Direct approaches as well as recruitment consultants / optimal use of the internet.

118. Using a traditional approach -- submitting applications (online or otherwise) and sending resumes without a connection to a person.

119. Focusing on HR which, unless you are going for an HR job, can merely say no or maybe, rather than targeting decision-makers.

120. Focusing on what they don't want rather than what they do want.

121. They won't consider change (geographic, salary, job title, etc.)

122. Looking only for one kind of work--what they have done before. It's known that job hunters should have 3-4 job targets because having options makes their job search shorter. Yet, many job hunters won't take off the label of their previous employment.

123. People limit themselves because of things like salary less than their previous, location, or industry. This is the strategy initially, but as time goes on they find that they need to be more open. By limiting themselves at the beginning of their search, they may miss an opportunity before they are "cold" to an employer.

124. Clients provided with a certain number of hours of private career counseling and access to a weekly call-in strategizing group for a full year who do not take advantage of this free service. Other struggling job hunters who do not have an outplacement contract would love to take their place and would use it to the fullest extent, knowing how difficult it has been not to have this sort of support. The ones who do take full advantage really do have shorter searches and find better jobs.

125. Keeping their mouths shut. No one knows you are looking if you don't tell people.

2012s Top Ten Ways to Lengthen Your Job Search 1. Play The Happy Game a. Not dealing with depression and emotions 2. Channel the Apollo Bay Hawks Soccer Team a. Have no Goals 3. Believe Your Resume Is Where Its At a. Embrace Resume Paralysis 4. Become One With Your Laptop a. Spend majority of time at home behind the screen 5. Nurture Your Inner Child a. Be helpless b. Focus on yourself and your needs c. Do the bare minimum to get by 6. Discount Your Contacts / Annoy Your Contacts a. Do no follow-up b. Never thank them 7. Become An Island a. Avoid meeting people 8. Avoid Non-Traditional Paths a. Pass up contract / projects / temp work 9. Talk Until They Drop a. Be vague and ambiguous 10. Believe Your Next Job is Forever a. Stop networking as soon as you land

b. Do not learn new skills