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:

"Dear Diane,

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!

- Diane

Need career advice? Ask Diane questions to to have your questions answered, or contact Arlyn recruiting at 604-681-4432 to find out if Diane is the coach for you!

When Diane Cronk isn’t answering candidate questions, she’s completing a master’s degree in counselling at Yorkville University and coaching job seekers from a variety of backgrounds. She specializes in developing strategic career moves; transitioning from one workplace to another; dealing with interpersonal conflict; fine-tuning communication skills; developing leadership and performance competencies and stress-related issues. She’s pretty great. But nobody’s perfect. Her opinions and advice are aimed at inspiring and supporting both employers and candidates. They are in no way a replacement for personalized guidance for individuals at any stage in their career development. Her opinions and advice are made with the best of intentions and aimed at assisting (or even just entertaining) both employers and candidates. In addition, in true legal fashion …

By submitting a query to Ask Diane, you grant Arlyn Recruiting permission to publish it on our websites. Your full name and contact details will never be included or distributed. Diane is expressing personal opinions and views and the advice offered is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose, nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author and Arlyn Recruiting are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions. Arlyn Recruiting reserves the right to edit correspondence for length and clarity and offers no guarantee that a response will be given to any particular question.