5 Bad Habits to Avoid When Searching For a Job

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You’re unemployed, endlessly scrolling through the ads on job sites wondering where it all went wrong. Don’t fear! Here are five bad habits you can avoid which should help you on your way to employment in no time.

1. Desperation

We all know it’s depressing to be unemployed, especially after a long time of searching, but recruiters and bosses can definitely sense desperation, and it’s not usually something they’re looking for.

Bosses don’t want desperate employees joining their team, preferring energetic and self-confident teammates instead.

2. Passive Searching

You need to take an active role in searching for a job, and not rely on others to do all the running around for you.

An old friend of mine once contacted me saying he was about to be laid off, and asked for help in finding an IT job in China. I replied with three questions:

– Do you have WeChat? Please add JobTube.

– Do you have experience with mobile app development?

– Can you send me your resume?

He replied with his resume ONLY and asked me to contact him if I find any suitable opportunities. This gave me the sense that either: His communication skills are poor; he’s too lazy; or too arrogant, none of which are attributes that many bosses are looking for. Relying on others to find you a job isn’t a good look, which is why I never recommended him to anyone.

3. Resume Throwing

Mathematically, the odds of finding a job are higher when the number of resumes sent out is higher. So 1,000 resumes sent yields ten times more chances than sending 100, right? Wrong!

The more resumes you throw, the less chance you have of getting a job. Trust me, I have been analyzing this trend for seven years. The problem with resume throwing is that you often just end up angering recruiters since chances are your resume is irrelevant to the job, and you’ll just be labelled as careless.

My suggestion: with every resume you send make sure you meet the required qualifications, and for the parts you don’t quite match, use a cover letter to explain or contact the recruiter directly. Establishing a relationship with the recruiter is highly important, and even if you don’t get this job, you might be considered for the next one.


4. “Selfie” Job-Searching

This is different than taking your own photo. Daily, I get one or two emails reading: “I’m very interested in working for your esteemed organization, please review my profile for any good matches you might have within your organization”. I never do — this is like resume throwing. However, when someone shows me in their message that they have read my profile, researched my company, and then tell me about skills they possess which can add value to my company, I’m going to be more inclined to read their profile. Why? Because you’ve shown that it’s not just all about you!

5. Not Realizing When It’s Not Working

If you have been searching for more than six months and still can’t find a job, it’s probably time to stop, take stock, and make a better plan.

– Identify 10-20 companies who need your skills and write down their names.

– Research every company, understand their new projects, needs, open jobs, markets…

– By any possible means, establish a connection with their HR team: go to the office, use WeChat, LinkedIn…etc.

Be nice and not pushy, submit your resume and have a short conversation every two to three weeks. HR personnel are often too busy to remember you, so try to make sure you are remembered (in a positive way, of course). Meanwhile, ask HR for tips or skills you might need to improve and use your unemployment time to attend training sessions and read books.

Now you know five bad habits to avoid when searching for a job. With the right skills and a good strategy, you’ll definitely be hired soon!

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