Job Search Self-Sabotage

Why would anyone want to sabotage his/her job search? Doing it deliberately makes NO sense. Unfortunately, I’ve talked with a number of people over the years who were doing exactly that–but unconsciously. Too often they end up wandering in a maze of dead-ends and having to retrace their steps, instead of moving strongly toward their goal, which remains tantalizingly out of reach.Employment maze

Are You Crippling Your Job Search?

Thinking along these lines is what prompted me to come up with a short quiz (only 9 questions) titled “Are You Crippling Your Job Search?” Although there are other mistakes that aren’t included in the quiz, you might want to take the quiz and see if you’re “guilty” of one or more items on it. You can do that by clicking on this link to my resume website home page, where you’ll find the quiz. It’s super-easy to take and doesn’t require much time.

Job search self-sabotage can take more than one form. In addition to the aspects touched on in the quiz, here are a few you might not have thought of, that could cause you problems:

  • A generic job search goal: “I need a job” is not a specific goal. We all need a job unless we’re independently wealthy or retired.
  • Lack of specific plans and actions: A vaguely defined job search is, in fact, an undefined job search. Unless you have a good focus on how to “get there,” you won’t.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Ambition can be a strong motivator but, if amped-up too high, can defeat your search by making you vulnerable to discouragement when you don’t get the desired results quickly, if at all.

Know Where You’re Going–From the “Get-Go”

As the previous points suggest, vagueness and a “pie in the sky” attitude can cripple your job search, if not kill it outright. Another factor that can have the same effect is failure to differentiate yourself from the competition. If your career marketing tools (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc.) don’t make clear what your unique value is, how do you expect employers to know?

Different Beats Same Unique Innovation Vs Status Quo ArrowsTrust me, they are NOT going to dig for this information unless (maybe) you’re one of a handful of people in the entire world with a qualification that’s in high demand. From start to finish, you need to focus on demonstrating to employers how you can make them successful and why they should not just want to talk to you but be eager to do so.

If you know where you’re going from the beginning and communicate essential elements of that in all your activities, you’ll significantly increase your odds for a successful job search–instead of being defeated by job search self-sabotage.


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