Guest Author: 4 More Habits of Highly Ineffective Job Seekers

By: Kevin Donlin

[Recently], I [wrote] about three habits of highly ineffective job seekers.

[Now] here’s the final installment: four more bad habits that can wreck your career.

Have a look below to see if you’re practicing any.

If so, drop these habits now, and you may start getting more calls from employers tomorrow …

Habit 1) Say “But” instead of “How” When highly unsuccessful job seekers are presented with a new idea, the first word out of their mouths is usually: “But ….” As in: “Hey, Joe, here’s a phone script you can use to call people and generate job leads. You ought to try it!”

Joe, the highly unsuccessful job seeker, replies: “But, I’ve already called everyone in my network.”

Successful job seekers, on the other hand, greet new ideas with this question: “How could I adapt that to my job search?” Then they get busy.

Listen to your self-talk today. Are you saying, “But” a lot more than “How”?

If so, the scientific term for your condition is but-head (sic). Sorry, couldn’t resist.

To stop being a “but-head,” start saying, “How can I make that work for me?” more often in your job search (and in your life).

Habit 2) Fail to tell everyone about their searches Unsuccessful job seekers often equate employment status with self-worth, and are too embarrassed to tell friends and family about their job searches.

But … you won’t get paid more for finding a job entirely on your own.

In fact, you may not get a paycheck for many moons unless you enlist the aid of as many people as possible, starting in your own home and on the block where you live.

Today, before your next bathroom break (yes, I want to give you a sense of urgency) make a list of the 20 most-successful, most-connected people you know.

How many of them know about your job search?

When I say, “know,” I mean the following:

* Do they know the title of the job you seek?
* The city where you want to work?
* The type of employer you want to work for (right down to 10-20 company names)?

If not, you won’t find work as fast as you could.

To get hired quickly, tell everyone. Not 10 people. Or 23.

Everyone — every person you meet, every day.

Habit 3) Set no specific goals I’m firmly convinced that muddled thinking causes more prolonged unemployment than any other factor — economic, political, or otherwise.

Here’s a how to spot the unclear thinking of an unsuccessful job seeker …

When you ask how many networking calls they’ve made this week, they reply: “I’m moving forward on that.” When you ask for names of companies they want to work for, they reply: “I can’t answer that, because I need to keep my options open.” (Sounds like a senator, doesn’t it?)

But, without specific goals — milestones on your journey to employment — how can you measure your progress and improve your efforts? You can’t.

Note: Specific goals require numbers and dates.

Example: “I will make phone calls until I set up 5 networking meetings by Friday, January 9.”

It’s tempting to set a goal that’s process-oriented, like this: “I will make 20 networking calls by Friday.”

But your ideal result is meetings with employers, not phone calls. So make your goals outcome-oriented. In this case, the outcome you want is 5 meetings.

Habit 4) Wait until circumstances are perfect Some people always seem to be waiting for something to happen first before they can really get busy looking for a job.

Here typical excuses for inaction from unsuccessful job seekers:

* I can’t go to any networking events until my resume is done.* I can’t contact any employers until I hear back from the recruiter I called yesterday.
* I can’t apply to that company — they haven’t advertised any openings.

But there must be at least one thing you can do today to get in front of a hiring authority. What is it?

Never put off taking action until circumstances are perfect — they never will be.

Meanwhile, somebody else just got hired after attending a networking event without a resume, or calling an employer who “wasn’t hiring.”

Now, go out and make your own luck!

Kevin Donlin is Creator of Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. Author of 3 books, Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio and others. His latest product, The Simple Job Search System, is available at

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

2 comments on “Guest Author: 4 More Habits of Highly Ineffective Job Seekers”

  1. Claire Reply

    This is mind-opening. I liked this post and have saved it to my ‘read list’. Something to give me that whack on my head when I start being negative. Even now that I started my job search as a student. Just wanted to suggest to other students to check out too. It’s been good for a starter like me. We can feature a free online resume and portfolio and market ourselves.

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