If you’ve never made any dumb or slightly silly mistakes in a job search, congratulations! On the other hand, an occasional misstep is probably not the kiss of death unless it’s seriously stupid.
Look at it this way, though: If you don’t put your best foot forward when you’re planning and conducting a job search, why should a potential employer assume that you won’t do something equally bad as an employee? To those employers, you are–in large part–the person you present to them in your job search interactions: initial contact, interview process, follow-through and follow-up, and so on.
There is no excuse I can think of for screwing up a job search because you didn’t seriously think through and put the key steps of your search into action appropriately. (Unless maybe it’s something as major as a death in the family or other traumatic event.) For instance, if you can’t at least try to put yourself in the shoes of the employers and do whatever you can to make it easy for them to consider you as a viable candidate, what makes you think they’ll want to bother doing that?
Whether the economy and job search market are good, bad or somewhere in between, you owe it to yourself and to the prospective employer (as well as anyone else your job search directly affects) to make sure you’re not behaving like a job search “idiot”! Act like a professional in all your dealings with the people you make contact with (or are contacted by). But don’t be afraid to cut loose those who are bent on wasting your time for their own benefit. You don’t owe them anything!
Because this will be my last post for a while (we’re moving across the country in less than a week), I’m not going to make it a long one. However, I do strongly encourage you to read the blog post from Nick Corcodillos (Ask the Headhunter) that prompted me to write on this topic today. You can find his post on his Ask The Headhunter blog. It’s really an eye-opener.
Here’s hoping you have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.