Author: Mark Gonska

Finding a job in a recession is not easy.  Even in good times, a successful job search requires time, patience, and creativity.  These days, hiring managers and executives are choosier than ever and looking for reasons to screen people out, i.e., they are looking for reasons not to hire you.  However, if you’re able to avoid the most common job search mistakes, you can still land your perfect job, even in this tough market. 

If you don’t know who you’re looking for, you’ll easily find him (or her)

The unemployment rate rose from 6.5 to 6.7 percent for the Month of November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the economy shed 533,000 jobs in one short month. That’s up 2% from the same time last year.  

Often, “over-qualified” is code for something else.

“You’ve got very impressive credentials, and your  experience is wide-ranging, but…” the hiring manager says: “We really think you’re overqualified.”

If you hear the words “over-qualified”, your job is to figure out what that something else is…, and overcome it just like you would any other objection.

What’s the #1 thing holding you back? Could it be your leadership style?

Any time I get the chance to sit down with an executive, I ask: “What’s the biggest obstacle to taking your business to the next level?” 

Typically I’ll get a variety of very serious responses: “We’re not in alignment”. “We’re not hiring the right kinds of people.” “Turnover is really high.”

And invariably, I respond: “Wow…, that sounds like a leadership issue.”  Because if you really take time to think about it, at every level, problems can be traced back to leadership, or rather, the lack of leadership.

Work hard and smart, be nice to others, be the first person in the office and the last person to unplug the coffee pot… pitch in and help out with urgent projects, especially when it’s “not your job.” Look good, smell good and update your wardrobe. Maintain eye  contact, listen twice as much as you talk and genuinely care about others. Call them by name. Don’t gossip or shop online. Get plenty of rest, limit your carbs and consider kale.