AARP’s website and magazine will often have very good career advice. Kerry Hannon’s slideshow about 8 Common Mistakes Older Job Seekers Make is targeted to the older worker but actually could apply to all of us. Here’s why:
- Mistake: kicking back & taking a break. The problem isn’t in taking a needed vacation, but in failing to maintain an active presence in your field. Try blogging or consulting so when you resume your job search, you have evidence you didn’t stagnate.
- Mistake: using dated email accounts. It’s an excellent idea to have a dedicated professional email account that is your name, your initials & last name, or your name + your expertise. But make sure it’s also a currently respected address. AOL & Yahoo are not going to work like Google or Outlook to enhance professional image right now, but these things change rapidly so pay attention.
- Mistake: low or missing digital presence. Privacy is not the same as invisibility, and most potential employers will look online. Social media and LinkedIn profile development are no longer optional for professionals.
- Mistake: refusing to be flexible about salary requirements. You may be offered a lower wage but can negotiate compensatory perks, for instance. Looking at the bigger salary picture can get you in the door.
- Mistake: overlooking contacts. You never know who you will run into again, who can introduce you to your next boss, or who is going to be helpful. Ideally you are being helpful to the others in your network, too, because it goes both ways and comes around again.
- Mistake: overdoing your resume. If it is bloated with outdated detail, hard to read, and over two pages, you overdid it. Time for a resume update! Do your research and make it concise. They can ask you for more detail in the interview.
- Mistake: ruling out jobs. It may not be a perfect fit, but a job that is mostly a good fit will be perfect with the right attitude.
- Mistake: waiting for the perfect job to open up. Here’s the truth: there is no perfect job. That’s okay, because people aren’t perfect anyway. The same skill set and experience can transfer beautifully into any number of possibilities so be open to them all.
These mistakes are certainly not limited to any age group. If you have been making one, fix it and you could find that next job!