Whether you're unhappy at your current job or simply looking for a change, it never hurts to see what's out there on the work front. On the other hand, because job hunting is such a cumbersome process, you'll want to do it as efficiently as possible. If you fall victim to the following mistakes, however, you might end up derailing that search and wasting your own time in the process.
1. Not thoroughly reading job descriptions
Job descriptions exist for a reason -- to give seekers a chance to learn what a job is all about and determine whether they're viable candidates at the same time. Therefore, if you don't take the time to read those descriptions carefully, you could end up applying for roles you don't actually want or have a shot at getting.
Of course, you don't always have to meet every single qualification to be considered for an open job. For example, if a job lists seven criteria for candidates and you're strong on six of them, it pays to apply if it's a role you really want. But if you only can check two or three of those requirements off the list, you may not want to bother going through with the application process, since your time probably could be better spent elsewhere.
2. Not utilizing your business network
Going online and combing through job listings is a good way to learn about open positions. An even better way, however, might be to talk to people in your industry and see if their companies are hiring.
As you go about your search, reach out to your network of contacts and find out what openings they know about. At the same time, if you come across a job online that you decide to apply for, look through your contacts to see if anyone you know works for that company. If so, have that person ask the hiring manager to give your resume a little extra attention.
3. Rewriting your resume each time you apply for a job
There's nothing wrong with tweaking your resume to present yourself as a more suitable candidate for a given role. But if you find that you're frequently having to rewrite the bulk of your resume, it could be a sign that you're not doing a good enough job of narrowing down your search field.
If that's the case, make a list of the tasks you want to do and responsibilities you want to have at your next job, and use that to help guide your search going forward. With any luck, it'll save you from having to recreate your resume each time you see a position that might be of interest.
4. Fixating on a specific salary
Clearly, there's no sense in applying for a job offering a $35,000 salary when the lowest you're willing to go is $60,000. On the other hand, by fixating on a specific number, you might deprive yourself of the opportunity to explore jobs that are rewarding in more ways than straight-up compensation. Therefore, be a little flexible when it comes to salary, keeping in mind that there's always the option to negotiate a salary offer once it's presented to you.
Furthermore, remember that some benefits have financial value that can make up for a slightly lower salary. For example, if you're offered $3,000 less than you were looking for but your would-be employer is willing to fully subsidize your health insurance premiums, that could be enough to make up for that $3,000, and then some.
The last thing you want to do during a job search is waste your time. Avoid these mistakes and you'll put yourself on a smoother path to finding your next role.