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The 7 Deadly Sins of Online Job Hunting

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worried at computer

You’ve been looking all over for a job. But it seems no matter what you do, you just can’t land one. The stress kicks in. Constant rejection destroys your confidence. And you’re getting desperate.

You ask yourself why.

Well, without knowing it, you could be committing one or more of the seven deadly sins of online job hunting.

1. Beware of showing your wrath online

Recruiters and hiring managers can run background checks on you. So if you’re someone who has no qualms about showing your darker side on the Web, beware. Racy statements and photos can turn off potential employers.

Posting angry updates directed toward your former employers and colleagues can reflect negatively on you. Same goes for half-naked photos, sexist or racist remarks, intimate details about your love life, and what you saw in the toilet this morning.

2. Don’t let greed dictate your dream job

Never let the hunt be all about the money. While pay is a big factor when looking for a job, online or off, don’t let it be your only requirement. Doing so will blind you from considering other aspects of the job that may later put you in a position you’d pay a lot to get away from.

Instead of making it all about the dollars, look into:

  • Relationships. How does this client or employer work with freelancers or employees?
  • Career development. Can this company help with your professional growth?
  • Work-life balance. How many hours will you be expected to put in each week?
  • Autonomy. Will you have creative freedom?

3. Sloth is your worst enemy

If you don’t spend enough time customizing and updating your cover letter, resume and online profiles — or you don’t even have all of the above — you better start now. Update your skills and use the right keywords for the job you hope to land. If you’re a freelancer looking for online work, optimize your profile on job sites.

Don’t wait for jobs to come to you. Do the work:

  • Network and reach out to make new connections.
  • Work on honing your skills or acquiring new ones to avoid intellectual stagnation.
  • Commit to regular exercise and take care of yourself.

4. Let go of your pride, even just a bit

So you held a high-ranking position in your old company? You were a bigshot in school?

You need to get over it. Sure, you don’t want to seem needy when looking for a job. But that doesn’t mean you should refuse to ask for referrals or even ask around for job opportunities.

Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a professional. It shows humility. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) And many employers would rather work with a humble yet confident person than a self-entitled know-it-all.

5. Curb your lust for shiny objects

You attend numerous paid webinars, buy a ton of job-hunting ebooks and pay for subscriptions to job lists. Yet you still don’t have a job. But you do have Shiny Object Syndrome.

The act of buying can trick you into thinking you did something productive. In reality, you fail to apply what those ebooks and webinars advise you to do because you’re already running toward the next shiny object. You’re trapped in a cycle of consumption with no action.

Focus on what you need to know and do. If a product or service is redundant or doesn’t help you achieve your goal, ignore it.

6. Gluttony can kill your chances of getting hired

You respond to many different job openings without caring about the posted qualifications, yet somehow you hope you’ll get lucky.

The most crucial gluttonous mistakes you can commit when you do this include:

  • Applying for positions that need qualifications you lack.
  • Sending the same application to multiple recruiters and hiring managers without customization.
  • Submitting the same application for different positions in the same company (yes, this happens).

When you apply for a job, take time to get to know the company. If you play it like a game of luck instead of a professional application process, you hurt your chances of getting employed.

7. Focus on inspiration, not envy

Career success stories are great because they give proof of what’s possible. But watch yourself once you start feeling jealous of the success of others. Use success stories as inspiration and not a source of envy.

Another person’s success doesn’t diminish your own. Be kind to yourself and stop comparing your accomplishments, or lack thereof, to others’.

Your job hunt is about finding the job you want and love, not somebody else’s.

Redeem yourself

Knowing which mistakes to avoid can go a long way in helping you secure the job you want. Apply for the positions you’re qualified for, work a little harder and focus a little more, and shorten your stay in unemployment hell.

Have you committed any of these sins unknowingly? Share your plans for redemption in the comments below!

Glori Surban is a freelance blogger dedicated to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs get their message out through blogging and guest posting services that target the right audience.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

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  • Adam Daniel

    Also, and this is hugely important but admittedly outside the context of this article, start preparing for your next job whilst you are in your current one.

    Do that by not being an asshole.

    Give other people the impression that you value their contribution even if you disagree with it. Don’t walk over people to get what you want and don’t leverage the power you may have against others unless they are blatantly doing the same to you (in other words play politics only in self-defense….but when you do take no prisoners).

    Why do all this?

    Because as you progress in your industry and you grow a little older it will start getting harder to jump from company to company at will. Your network will also be progressing in their positions and have more influence and those networks (not online job ads or recruiters) will be doing most of the hiring decisions.

    If you were an asshole when you worked with these people years ago will they pick up the phone and call you now, will they give that informal recommendation that is so important when people as their opinion about you?

    I know a highly talented man in his early 50’s that has been unemployed for a year (with a wife and kids).

    When you work with him he never compromises his position and will always push to make sure his chosen approach to an issue is the one taken. He will spend inordinate amounts of time brown-nosing to the bosses and will work all the hours god sends to make sure that if you disagree with him that your opinion is not listened to. He will also spend that time making sure that he exposes every flaw in his immediate superiors working habits to those same bosses as a way to move up the chain himself.

    Now ask yourself why this man, at that stage in his career, is out of work? Why nobody from his over thirty years of working life has reached out to him to offer him a position?

    That could be you if you are an asshole. It might never come back to haunt you if you are one, but ask yourself how you would fare being unemployed for over a year with no sign of work on the horizon.

    • http://glorisurban.com/ Glori Surban

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience Adam!

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  • aaditysony

    These grat advices are absolutely beautiful.

    Rosh Hashanah 2014