Ask Diane: "After being out of the job market for so long, I've become intimidated..."
This week’s question comes from an intermediate-level paralegal seeking new opportunities. They write:
After being out of the job market for so long, I've become intimidated by the idea of getting out on the market BUT I'm looking for change, what are the common mistakes or errors that people make when applying for new opportunities and how do you recommend these be avoided?
- Starting Simple"
Dear Starting Simple,
Sometimes “change”, even if you see it as a positive, can create stress as it can be difficult to think about adjusting to a new environment....
But complacency can be detrimental to your life as well, as you can stay “stuck” for a year or so, and this can work itself into five to 10!! So get out there and start your search! But do it with thoughtfulness and a critical look at your next step in career, and stay organized in your search.
Once you’ve decided to take action, remember to avoid:
Sending your resume EVERYWHERE. Spamming employers with resumes may show initiative and drive, but it complicates the search when candidates may be perceived by hiring managers as not taking the time to consider what roles/firms make for the best fit. This can give the impression that you either (a) don’t know yourself or (b) don’t care about the long-term fit or (c) don’t want to take the effort to do your homework.
Not proofreading your resume. A typo can lose you the job. It’s that simple.
Appearing unprofessional in your interview. The old adage holds true: you only get one chance at a first impression. Arrive for your interview on time and leave your coffee, cellphone, luggage and other personal miscellany at home. Once you’re in the interview, avoid oversharing or asking about salary and benefits too early, and yet help the hiring manager to know a little more about you so that are able to see why you would be a suitable choice.
Communicating your needs AFTER the terms of your employment have been discussed. While you don’t want to ask about salary right away, DON’T wait until you’re signing the contract to mention you need two weeks off at Christmas. Not only could your discourtesy see your request go unmet, but you may damage your reputation with your new coworkers before you begin or you may lose the position altogether.
I could give you even more information as this was a great question or you can simply drop by our office for a session and we can chat more then!
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