Alicia Karwat Alicia has over 15 years of corporate experience and has been helping professionals, managers and executives identify and develop extraordinary powers they didn’t even know they had, for over 5 years. To find out more view Alicia's full bio or visit Alicia's website

7 Biggest Mistakes Employment Seekers Make

By Dr Alicia Karwat, KeySteps Pty. Ltd. February 2011

Ron McGowan, the author of the book “How to Find WORK in the 21st Century”, has just sent us an email with his account of the seven biggest mistakes employment seekers make. This is Ron’s way of advertising the book to career coaches, however as he is making a good point in all seven of them I want to share them with you.  Review and reflect on your approach to the job search.

1. Ignorance about the impact of Social Media Networks
Recruiters and hiring managers are saying that up to 45 percent of the applicants they review are being rejected because of what they found out about them online. The warning that all social media experts give is: “If it’s online – it isn’t private.”

2. Ineffective use of Social Media Networks.
Getting hired today is moving in the direction of being found by employers rather than the traditional approach of applying for work. Employment seekers must learn how to use social media networks effectively.

3. Focusing on advertised positions.
At least 80 percent of the employment opportunities are never advertised and employment seekers must learn how to sniff these out.

4. Too much emphasis on jobs.
If the only option you give an employer is to offer you a job, you’re making it hard for them to hire you. This is especially true for small businesses, where most of the action is. Being willing to accept part-time, temporary and contract work – without reservations is essential.

5. Ignorance about marketing.
We’re a society that knows how to apply for a job. The challenge for employment seekers today is to become proficient at finding work. Anyone lacking this skill will be unemployed for a long time.

6. Too much focus on resumes.
Employment seekers must learn how to create a variety of tools that are marketing oriented and focused on the needs of the employer.

7. Living in the past.
We keep waiting for the Great Recession to be over and lots of jobs to come back. It’s not going to happen. For a growing number of workers the era of the traditional job and all the stability that came with it is over. In trend-setting California, only about 30 percent of the workforce have traditional jobs. That’s where we’re all headed. Accept it, adjust to it, and move on.

The 2011 edition of Ron’s book will be released in March.

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One Comment

  1. I just read this and was stunned, “At least 80 percent of the employment opportunities are never advertised…” My question is why is it only 80% of opportunities? Why not 100%? I mean, if HR pros are able to fill 80% of their employment opportunities without advertising why not just do the same thing to fill the final 20%.
    It seems like companies are wasting millions of dollars advertising on career sites for only 20% of the jobs they need to fill. Why do they waste the money? Obviously, they have a fiduciary duty to save the business owners money and so they should do the only prudent thing—stop advertising job openings. This seems like a “no brainer” if this statistic is indeed true.
    If memory serves me, this statistic is from the book, What Color Is Your Parichute? By Dick Bolles. It is sited by every employment guru and HR pro as true. Frankly, I have my doubts that this statistic was ever true. But, that never seems to stop people from mindlessly regurgitating the same old statistics over and over and over…

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