During my September Q&A session, I shared some awesome, juicy tidbits on how you can get job search ready to take advantage of the upcoming recruiting season! Here’s the reality: job searches are tough. As one of my clients says: “consider the job search like a job in itself with extra hours of overtime.”

I could not agree more with this, which is why I’m here to help! Read on for the top three common job search mistakes you MUST avoid.

1. Only applying online.

This is the top job search mistake that I see way too many candidates make. The Internet is a beautiful thing – it makes life faster, simpler, and easier… but it doesn’t have the same impact on your job search. When you apply online, you remove from the application equation what may leave the most significant impact: your personality. You become one piece of paper among hundreds.

My top tip: don’t make yourself easy to ignore. Get out from behind your desk and attend information sessions, networking events, and conferences that allow you to connect face-to-face with employers and recruiters. The more people who you meet and impress, the more opportunities you’ll have coming your way.

2. Writing boring outreach messages that don’t sell your skills or build rapport and trust.

Just because social networking platforms like LinkedIn allow you to contact any number of recruiters and Hiring Managers at the click of a button doesn’t mean you should automatically do it. I encourage making connections, not taking advantage of them. For example, reaching out to a recruiter who you don’t know and asking them to look over your resume is taking advantage of their expertise. Instead, do a careful check to see if you have any second or even third degree connections with this person. Then, ask for introductions! Professionals are much more likely to help you if they aren’t caught off guard by an outreach email but someone they don’t know.

Next up, avoid your standard, boring outreach message. It’s okay to recognize someone else for their accomplishments, include exclamation points to assert how excited you are to speak to them, and split your message into bullet points that draw attention to your key accomplishments. The more your message makes others feel they know who you are, the easier it will be for them to help you.

3. Lack focus and drive.

It’s not enough to submit your application and hope for the best. In this ultra-competitive market, candidates must be extremely focused if they want to stand out from the crowd. First things first, never give anything less than 100% when you’re faced with an opportunity that resonates with you. If you find a new role with your ideal company, do everything you can to meet recruiters, Hiring Managers, and fellow employees who can give you the inside scoop. This will increase your chances of getting a referral, which helps significantly with applications.

Do you have any more questions about job seeking? Check out the full, two-part session below!