Job Hunting Mistakes To Avoid

You need this job.  You binged the entire Netflix catalog.  Your bedroom/office is becoming smaller every day.  And your budget isn’t going to support your diet of ramen noodles much longer. 

So why haven’t you found a job yet? 

Well, it could be a number of reasons.  But try to avoid these common mistakes when job hunting first to see if it makes a difference.

Job Hunting Mistake #1: Don’t put your picture on your resume. 

I mean you’re good looking, and the new outfit pops, right?  But that shouldn’t be what gets you your next position.  When people are reading your resume, they make judgments about who you are.  It is much easier to control impressions by the words you write and phrases you use.  A picture, while it is worth 1000 words, is out of your control.  They will make assumptions about you based on that photo. And beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder, and you don’t know who is beholden you.

I have seen people use pictures that include family members, pets, hobbies, and other activities.  I am convinced they understood why they chose a particular picture.  The problem is that the person reading your resume doesn’t know. 

You want someone to evaluate you on the experiences you communicate in a resume. 

That will be how you will get the job.  A picture never helps.  It can only potentially hurt.

Job Hunting Mistake #2: Not Researching The Church

It can be easy to send resumes. After all, you may be feeling the crunch of needing a job. However, rushing to apply without doing your research can lead to a bad fit for you and the church. No one wants to end up in a position only to then find out that your beliefs or values do not line up.

Another important point here, when you fail to research the church, you also put yourself at a disadvantage. Looking up the church, watching sermons, and reading the website or newsletters can all help you gain insights into the congregation’s language and culture. Want to know how to dress for your interviews? Watch sermons and see how the people dress.

Researching can be an important step in your job hunt, so don’t skip this step.

Mistake #3: Don’t stop looking. 

Be sure to be applying for 3-5 jobs per week.  You may get all the way to final interviews with your dream job and find out they can’t pay you enough or you came in a close second. 

You can’t afford not to have several possible job opportunities going at the same time.  Yes – you will likely experience more rejection than you think your ego can handle.  But ultimately, you are looking for one person to hire you.  And your odds increase with the more positions for which you are applying.

Job Hunting Mistake #4: Don’t forget your deadlines. 

You may have to source your references or submit additional written work to a future employer.  Be sure you are agreeing to and meeting the deadlines they are setting for you.  It is a strike against you if you have to be reminded.  And if you are reminded repeatedly, you may want to consider pulling your name from consideration.

And, finally… Job Hunting Mistake #5: Don’t give up. 

It may feel impossible to avoid these job hunting mistakes, but… Be patient.  The road to my longest-tenured job began with an interview in October in which I was rated the second choice (I found this out years later).  I was married in December and thought I would inquire about the job in March.  I started in April.  The first choice turned them down.  I stayed interested, and they finally offered me the job.  I never gave up.  Don’t you, either.

Steve Schneeberger is the Student Ministry Lead Director at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS, and is the founder of the Youth Ministry Institute. Beginning in 1985, Steve began a vocation as a youth minister serving churches in Kansas and Florida. He is a 1981 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kansas, has a business degree from Baker University (1985) and a law degree from the University of Kansas (1988). He is married to Carol, a school counselor and former teacher. They have three children.

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