Your skills and work history may land you an interview, but the attitude you present in person determines whether you get hired. Bringing a negative attitude to your job search may prevent you from showing your qualifications and personality in the best light and making beneficial connections with the professionals you meet. Pay attention to behavioral patterns during the job search and interview process that may inadvertently send red flags about your character.
1. Being Unresponsive
Employers and recruiters can't get to know you if you never speak. While small talk and casual networking often feel superficial, they provide golden opportunities to discuss shared interests or passion projects. Conversational skills are invaluable if your work history is short or filled with gaps, as you gain chances to show a complete picture of your background and work mentality. You also build beneficial relationships with people who can keep you informed and recommend you for future jobs.
2. Refusing to Change
Every professional needs adaptability to survive a job search, so don't sabotage yourself by refusing to keep up with industry standards. Give yourself an advantage by researching the core and emerging skills employers expect from candidates. You may need additional training, but you gain an expanded skill set that you can market to diverse employers. Recognize that your experience isn't the only factor, and update your resume with relevant keywords that mirror the original job posting.
3. Bad-Mouthing Others
Never assume interviewers are going to understand your side of the story. Avoid complaints about past jobs, and bring a positive attitude to interviews and networking events. You may encounter former co-workers in influential positions during your job search, and interviewers can often detect negative reactions when you speak about a frustrating experience. Practice interviews with trusted friends so they can observe whether you keep your cool and stay on topic.
4. Being Self-Centered
Employers know that every candidate wants something, but they don't know what you specifically have to offer. Eliminate the "me, me, me" vibe from your resume and interviews by focusing on how your skills benefit the company. Research companies before you interview so you can tailor the conversation to employers' current achievements and problems.
5. Being Inactive
Don't wait for your professional contacts to find you a job. Stay proactive throughout your job search by periodically checking in with your contacts and keeping them up to date on any credentials you have earned. Approach the job search from multiple channels, including social media, and let friends, co-workers and clients know that you are actively looking for new opportunities or recommendations, so you stay on their professional radar.
6. Having an Inferiority/Superiority Complex
Success starts with confidence, but don't turn down every job opportunity because the position feels too lowly. Be willing to start small, especially if the alternative is unemployment. At the same time, don't let a lack of confidence stop you from pursuing jobs that are well-suited for you. A learning curve is normal, so accept that you may not perform perfectly on the first day.
Remember that you are the only person responsible for your career, and avoid blaming others for setbacks. Cultivating a positive attitude about your skills and career outlook helps you make a good impression and stay motivated throughout the job search.
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