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Self-Inflicted Job Search Wounds

Yes, the economy has not yet fully recovered, and yes, the job market is still weak, but you may be killing your own chances of landing that next position.

Here are some job seeker no no’s:

The Resume

One big mistake is to simply list duties and not highlight accomplishments on the resume. Job seekers need to show results. I have seen too many resumes that simply list duties without showing bottom line results. It is not enough to say what you did. You need to demonstrate what happened as a result of your efforts. Perhaps you brought new business into your company that created a new revenue stream on a year over year basis. Maybe you motivated staff to turn around a failing project and complete it on time and under budget. Show how you made a contribution to the bottom line.

The Interview

It is easy for job seekers to ignore the fact that they are being evaluated even in the waiting area. Most people would never think of the receptionist being an interviewer, but it’s true. It’s fairly common that the receptionist will report back to the hiring manager how candidates behaved in the waiting area. Don’t be remembered as the one who ate all the candy out of the candy dish or spoke disrespectfully to the receptionist.

Another faux pas for some job seekers is that they forget to turn off their cell phones before the interview. Having your phone ring during an interview can disrupt the interview and make you look unprofessional, especially if you have a loud ring tone that the interviewer may not appreciate.

Salary Negotiation

The biggest mistake that job hunters make in terms of salary negotiation is that they do not attempt to negotiate because they are scared to do so in the current economic environment. Since the competition is so stiff in the job market, many job seekers unfortunately assume that they have no bargaining power. However, most organizations have a range in mind for the salary that they intend to pay new employees, so there is room for negotiation.

Another major mistake job seekers make is not thoroughly researching salary information prior to engaging in the negotiation process. If you don’t know what the market will bear, you are shooting in the dark when it comes to salary.

Yet another mistake is only focusing on the dollar amount for the salary and not negotiating benefits, which are worth money as well.

Making mistakes in the area of salary negotiation can cost you the job if you are perceived as not being savvy about the process.

Cheryl Palmer is a certified executive career coach and a certified professional resume writer and is President of Call to Career, a career coaching and resume writing firm. She has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MarketWatch, The Ladders, ExecuNet, and Yahoo HotJobs. Cheryl was also a guest on a radio show entitled How to Find a Job Fast hosted by Chris Russell of Secrets of the Job Hunt where she discussed tips for finding employment more quickly in this economic downturn.

Cheryl has a social media program for executives to aid them with reducing the amount of time it takes to land a new position. She also conducts webinars on social networking. You can visit her website at http://www.calltocareer.com.

Bill