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The Seven Deadly Sins of Job-Hunting

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detail of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things by Hieronymous Bosch

Credit: Museo del Prado, Madrid

Building on his experiences of helping students interview for positions at top U.S. companies, recruiter Vlad Zachary shares his view on what he considers to be the seven deadly sins of job hunting. As he points out, it's important to be happy, motivated and enthusiastic as you embark on your job search. This means focusing on the right opportunities, paying attention how to market yourself to potential employers, performing basic due diligence as you seek out new opportunities, and taking advantage of job hunting support and services.

To maximize your effectiveness, you will need to create a detailed plan for your job hunt that includes a daily to-do list and a daily activities schedule. Focusing and getting organized from the beginning will preserve some of your good work habits and will help you cut the time you are without a job. Before contacting employers, you need to know what you're marketing and to whom. Defining yourself as the 'best possible candidate' for a job requires you to learn how your education, skills and experience apply to the expectations of the hiring managers. For each opportunity, you should know to what extent your background is a perfect fit. To do so, you will need to inventory all of your assets and marketable skills.

Also, you will need to investigate the industry, the job market and the company, especially for jobs in fast-changing sectors such as healthcare, automotive, banking, and government. You need to be familiar with the latest industry trends, and understand as well how these trends are affecting the job market in you area or at the company where you apply. Before dismissing job opportunities out of hand, you should read each job description carefully. Quite a few smaller companies are willing to give the right candidate a step-up if he or she has the right mix of skills and attitude. Finally, working with experts on your career (e.g. resume-writers, career counselors, and recruiting specialists) will only speed up and improve your chances of getting your next job.

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