Job Search Mistake to Avoid: Doing a Serial Job Search

by: Joanne Meehl

A serial job search is one in which a candidate we'll call Kim goes after one opening or one company at a time. She finds an opening online that she fits, she pursues it, is interviewed for it, and then (so far) is not made an offer and the job goes to someone else. Because she has nothing else going on, she then crashes. And it takes her 1-2 weeks to "get over it", regroup, and start going after another company, another opening. Meanwhile, another month has gone by. She begins to think "It must be me...I must not be good at what I do...".

And that is so not it.

This kind of serial, one-after-the-other approach leads to only one thing: A painfully long search. "Painful" and "long" are two things I help my clients avoid. If they follow their plan, they learn it doesn't have to be this way, even in this stumbling economy.

For contrast, let's look at Trevor. Sure, he's answering ads, but he's in one-to-one networking meetings so much that it takes up about 25 hours a week. (For those of you between jobs, if you're not that busy in your search, you're not doing enough.) He's focused on his target companies, using varying methods all at once. His approach is multiple, and it's constant, week in, week out.

Because he's generating so much activity, leads, and interviews, here's how Trevor reacts to "Sorry, you're not our top candidate": he says to himself, "Oh well, on to the next thing, I have so much going on, I just know that something else will pop up." He does not miss a beat. His search generates results constantly, and it's going to happen that he WILL land -- at a company of his choice.

Note those words: "...I have so much going on, I just know something else will pop up." He's right.

The point here is you can go one way or another: The serial search, painful and long. Or the multiple and constant approach that expands your network AND gets you the job your after, sooner.

Your choice.


Joanne Meehl helps professionals in job hunt do an intelligent search by setting an individualized strategy. Contact her for her ideas for you.


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