1. Your network isn’t big enough. Set yourself a goal—like making three new contacts every day. Your network cannot be too big. Think former bosses/colleagues, neighbors, friends of friends, relatives of friends, relatives of friends of neighbors’ bosses. Use your spouse’s network, too.
2. You’re not working your network. This especially includes potential employers with whom you’ve interviewed. Keep in touch with those people! Respond to their tweets and status updates. Send them links to interesting/relevant articles. Stay on their radar.
3. You’re relying on Internet job postings. You need to do more than post to the online boards. Lots more. Make like a detective and find jobs before they’re advertised.
4. You’re projecting negativity. Yes, you may be feeling more desperate with each passing day but…neediness is such a turn-off. Exercise, meditate, pray, read upbeat literature. Do whatever you need to do to stay positive.
5. Your body/manners are betraying you. Do you jiggle your knee, twirl your hair, bite your nails? Are you too talkative? Are your clothes inappropriate? Ask someone in your professional network for some honest feedback.
6. You’re not going straight to the hiring manager. Use networking to learn about and then approach those people who would actually be your boss. (See no. 2.)
7. You’re looking at the job search as a sort of vacation. Too many people, when they get laid off, say, “Finally, I can spend more time with my kids,” or “Finally, I can clean out the garage.” Job hunting is a lot more work than working.
A lot more.
Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com.