April 15, 2014, 9:28 PM —
Help! I’m a talented programmer with great experience and a good professional track record. I’ve also been job hunting for months and still can’t find a job. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?
First, thank you for emailing me your question and good luck on your continued job search. The fact that you are seeking advice and looking for new ways to enhance your job search is, in itself, a strong step forward toward finding your next job.
To your question, there are a number of mistakes people tend to make that can accidently hurt their job search. These mistakes can be categorized into three primary categories; resume, activities, and mindset. A few examples of each are listed below:
Resume related mistakes:
1. Have old out-of-date technology on the top of their resume within the “Technical Expertise” section. It’s fine to have it within the body of your resume within the descriptions of prior positions, but having them highlighted at the top of your resume makes you look out of touch with industry trends. Additionally, it makes the newer, more marketable, technologies you are trying to highlight within your resume a little more difficult to find.
2. Having typos on your resume show carelessness and are very easy to miss when proofreading. Have a friend or professional resume writer view and read your resume. Not only may they find a typo or two, they may also provide you with some valuable advice. As an example, the auto-correct features in most word processors are great, but upon occasion they can place incorrect words in your resume. Because the word is technically spelled correctly and the spelling is close to the word you were expecting, it’s easy to miss.
3. Using the same general-purpose resume for all potential employment opportunities is a big mistake. You should customize your resume toward the needs and requirements of each potential job. I’m by no means suggesting being purposely inaccurate or deceitful. I’m simply suggesting that you put your best foot forward. For example, if you have significant professional experience as both a Project Manager and a Business Analyst, accentuate your Project Management experience when applying for Project Management jobs.