The Seven Deadly Sins of The Job Search


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Do you hate your boss?  Are you angry because you were passed over for a position that you were clearly the best qualified for? Are you feeling frustrated and unappreciated in your current position?   Sometimes these feelings are a good thing, they are just the push you need to leave your comfort zone and actually pursue your next best career step.   However, you need to put all of your negative feelings aside during your job search, this is not the arena to exact your wrath.  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, nothing will submarine a great opportunity for you faster than speaking negatively of your current or previous employer.  Your interviewer is not your counselor, they do not need to understand why you are so angry or what a big jerk your boss is.  All an interviewer sees, in those situations, is a person who will be trashing their company the same way next year and a potential employee problem.   You have to put a positive spin on why you are looking at the position.  Speak in positive terms about what this opportunity can do for your career, for example,  “I think I could grow with this company and have a better chance at advancement”, “I love the team philosophy here and could really thrive in this environment.”  When your motivation to make a job change is prompted by feelings such as anger, wrath or rage, then you need to keep that to yourself.  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, you need to put on a happy face when interacting with others during your job search, and then if you really need to, go home and punch a wall.

©Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart and Jennifer Bruton. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.


Do you find yourself thinking things like “I can’t believe Bob just got that new job, my numbers were better than his?”  Do you spend precious moments obsessing over the fact that you and Charlie have the same skill set and comparable experience, but he is getting 10X the number of interviews?  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, it is a significant waste of your time to focus on other people’s job searches.  You will be much more successful in your own job search if you focus on yourself.  Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, your energy is better spent identifying ways to improve your resume, acquiring new skills to make you more marketable, and networking with those that can help you get hired in the positions you seek.  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, being envious of someone else’s success only takes away from your own.

©Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart and Jennifer Bruton. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

bigstockphoto_Business_Man___116901[1] PRIDE-

Possibly the most severe of the 7 Deadly Sins of the Job Search is Pride. It is a sad situation when your ego grows so large that you will not consider or will pass on a new position based solely on the title. Being specifically focused on a position’s title gives the impression that you think you are better or more important than others and can appear to be arrogant rather than confident. When you hit a crossroads in your career, you should evaluate all new opportunities on a wide range of variables. Someone truly committed to making the best career choice will evaluate the scope of responsibility for each position; a company’s organizational structure; the management responsibilities you will have; the company’s mission and value statements; and the company’s reputation in the industry. There might be a valid argument for certain companies to evaluate their titles against those of their competitors to stay innovative in their market. Even so, THE AWFUL TRUTH is, sometimes the best job for you might not have the best title.

©Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.



Are you a person that thinks with regards to your job search, “more is better”?   Have you posted your resume to every job board, applied to every job on multiple company websites, and are working with multiple recruiters regarding various opportunities?  Are you finding that you aren’t getting any interviews, or if you are, not for the opportunities you want?  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, more is not better; more is just more.  Don’t share your resume with everyone.  There is something very attractive in exclusivity. Before you go blasting your resume to every job site on the planet, make a list of your abilities, experience and skills.  Now make a list of several companies that you would like to work for.  Do some research on the companies and determine which jobs at those specific companies you are qualified for and would enjoy doing.  The best approach will be to identify people at those companies that are responsible for hiring those  job functions and begin networking with them.  This may or may not be something you are able to determine or are comfortable doing.  In the alternative, identify one or two recruiters that have an expertise in the specific industry and work with them exclusively.    It is a much more powerful presentation to say “my candidate specifically asked to be considered for your organization” directly to the hiring manager, than having HR pull your resume down from multiple job boards and receive it from various sources.  Frankly, this makes you look desperate and hence unattractive.   THE AWFUL TRUTH is, you need to use restraint, and control your job search to get the job you really want.

©Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.



Are you being proactive in searching out new opportunities which might be the best next step for your career?  Are you surprised that you are still stuck under the fluorescent light in your sad little cubical? What is your plan?  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, a successful career does not just happen.  You need to have a long term career plan. Like with any long term goal, you will need to create a plan, be diligent and work hard.  You will want to begin by doing research in your industry and specifically for the position you desire. You will want to find out who you should be networking with, and find out what steps they took to achieve the success they have obtained.  Even if you are not actively looking, always be open-minded to opportunities you hear about.  Exploring an opportunity is not a commitment that you will take a new job, but by failing to evaluate new scenarios you’ll never know what you might have missed.  THE AWFUL TRUTH is, that any sloth can probably keep the job they have with minimal effort, but taking your career to the next level will require effort.

©Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

Everyone knows the story of their sister’s best friend’s cousin’s roommate from college who took a new position and raised their salary from $45,000 per year to $110,000 per year with a personal driver and a company jet. The AWFUL TRUTH is, that it didn’t happen!! Typically, in your current position you should expect an annual 3% – 5% increase plus either an additional merit increase or bonus, based on your level within the organization and your previous year’s performance. Many times these merit increases or bonuses will be based on a wide range of factors, many which you will have NO control over. When changing companies, on average, we see a 7%-10% increase. If relocation is necessary, the increase may or may not take into consideration a cost of living difference. It is not Greedy to ask for and require the amount of money it takes for you to support you and your family.  However, if the money offered meets your needs, and the opportunity is going to further your career, then it is a sin for you to allow Greed to keep you from this great new job, because you heard someone, somewhere is making 10X more for the same position. The AWFUL TRUTH is, usually during salary negotiations, employers will end up paying more than they really wanted to and the candidate will accept less than their highest expectations.
 ©Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.


bigstockphoto_Lipstick_On_Man_s_Collar_5316193[1]Your “dream” job is available, you’ve crafted a fantastic resume, sent it over to the proper contacts and now all that you hear are the crickets chirping!  Could it be you are lusting  after a job you really want, but are not yet qualified for? How realistic is the focus you have on the position you are entertaining? Are you maybe a little overzealous about this new position, so obsessed that you are stalking the recruiter and the hiring manager? If you have uttered the phrase “even though I have never done most of the tasks listed on the job description, but I know I would be great at it,  I just need an interview to prove  it,” then you need to quickly reevaluate whether pursuing this job is the best use of your time.  The AWFUL TRUTH is,  you should have AT LEAST  90%  of the requirements listed in the job description, before deciding to apply for it.  If you don’t meet 90% of the education requirements, experience, certifications, etc., then you are chasing after a job, that in reality just does not make sense for you.  Aggressively pursuing this job does not make you seem determined; it makes you appear to be a poor listener and somewhat desperate.  Frankly, desperation is not attractive.  The AWFUL TRUTH is, if you lust after a certain position, make sure and get the additional education or certifications required.  Pursue opportunities to learn the essential functions of your “dream” job with your current organization. Your boss will appreciate that you are taking initiative to learn new things and your marketability will improve significantly.
© Copyright, 2009, Nicole Dukehart. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.



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