What to avoid while job searching

  • Using broad terms. This is just useless. Say you're an accountant. Searching 'accountants' will provide you with thousands of job ads, of which only about 5% will be of any use or relevance to you.
  • Searching job titles rather than skills. This is a big killer. Searching job titles means very little. An 'administration' job, for example, can be anything. You'll find admin jobs, but most will have nothing to do with your previous experience or what you're looking for. Searching skills terms, on the other hand, means you can pin down specific jobs where your skills are in demand. If necessary, get the job description from your previous job or the job you seek and use that for your search terms.
  • Sticking to one industry. Skills are transferable across a range of industries. Many people tend to stick to a particular industry and never even notice there are jobs available in others. This is the sort of thing that's glaringly obvious in hindsight, but not when you're searching.
  • Not refining searches properly. If you find that you seem to be seeing the same ads repeatedly, it's because you are. Job site search engines, particularly on big sites, are notorious for producing enormous amounts of information that is either out of date or repetitive. Always refine searches to current time frames. In some cases you can also reduce your searches by using excluders, like 'not' to remove categories of results from your searches.

Search hazards

Badly written ads. It's not just the job seeker who has to wade through the job ads. Advertisers often contribute a lot to the inefficiency of the job search. Most job ads aren't written by Shakespeare, and they often lack useful information. In some cases this is because recruitment agencies don't put in enough detail, so the discontented job seeker has to guess what the job involves.

Classified type job ads. These nuisances are perhaps the worst, and they clutter up job searches. The job ad will consist of a job title, and that's it. No other information is provided. These ads are usually a waste of time to check out, and unless they're local jobs, or you're really looking for anything, they're better avoided.

Your job search is what you make it.