When it comes to searching for a job, there is a right way, a wrong way, and an average way. The wrong way is obviously not a road to go down, and in this competitive job market, an average way is not as useful either. Let's take a look at some of the wrong ways and mistakes that can bring your job search to a screeching halt.
First off, focus on jobs that are close to your range of expertise. Some people apply for anything and everything hoping for something to turn up. However, if you are applying for positions that you are not qualified for, it is most likely wasting time that could be used to focus on digging deeper to find a position better matching your skill sets. It is always good to branch out some, and apply for things that might be out of your comfort zone, or may be on the outer fringes of your skill set; but stretching your skill set into related fields is not the same as reaching for something way out of your league.
When you do apply, whether it be on your resume, application form, cover letter, or a simple email to a prospective company, be sure to read, read, and re-read again, looking for typos and grammatical errors on all correspondence you send out. Be sure to type in full sentences, correct punctuation, proper grammar and professional language. Avoid "lingo" or "street talk" in professional correspondence, and switch gears in your mind, making sure you are not falling into bad habits that have come about by today's texting rules. You should avoid using short hand type abbreviations, and stick with full words and sentences. These little unprofessional pieces can add up to just enough to knock you out of the running.
Believe it or not, there are still some people that do not have an online presence. I know people that avoid social media sites of all kinds. Some do not "have time for it," while others just seem less interested in interacting with old friends and family members online. To a certain degree, I can applaud them for that; the time most of us spend on the computer with some of the silliness could be better spent doing more productive things. However, when it comes to job searching, the internet has become a big tool, not only for the one looking for a job, but for the one looking for a candidate. Most companies regularly search the internet for a candidate's name, and it can be a tool to help them find the good and the bad. If you do not have an online presence, it could be just enough to rule you out in comparison to others. Having a professional online presence is almost a necessity these days, so take the time and get online if you are not already.
Remember, the hiring process can take some time. If you have had an interview, and feel you really nailed it, do not become a pest by continually calling the hiring agent asking for a status. It is normal to send a follow up thank you note within a day or two of the interview, but beyond that, it can be a waiting game. Hiring agents usually have many applicants to go through, and juggling all of those people and schedules can take some time. Be patient and keep your job search moving.
Above all else, do not fail to work on organization during the job search. Being unorganized is one of the things that can effectively bring your job search to a crawl. During a job search, it is a good idea to open a new email account only for the time of the job search, to help avoid missing any important responses that might get lost in the sea of junk mail you get in your inbox. Get a special voicemail mailbox just for the job search, and make sure to check it frequently. A timely response to emails and voicemails is very important. Assemble all of your job search tools into one central place. All of your records, notes, paperwork, or anything related to the job search should be in an easy to find central location. You may get that unexpected phone call from a potential employer, and you do not want to have to scramble to locate documents or necessary information. Keep it all organized and be prepared.