Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

4 Ways to Hurt Your Job Search (That You May Be Unaware Of)

More experienced candidates. A minimum Master’s Degree requirement. Ridiculous job interview questions. As if there weren’t enough obstacles out there preventing you from finding the perfect job, it turns out there might be a few that you aren’t even aware of.

Fortunately, these factors are starting to be talked and written about in their relation to today’s job search. Now, you can nip these problems in the bud, and be on your way to your dream job.

1. Bad credit report. Wait, you’re applying for a job — not a loan, right. Nonetheless, potential employers are starting to look at job candidates’ credit scores. The Wall Street Journal reports that 47% of employers conduct credit checks according to the Society for Human Resource Management. They’re looking for missed payments, delinquencies, foreclosures and liens.

You can help your credit score by firstly being aware of what is included in your credit score. Second, make sure all of your payments are up to date and clear any discrepancies that might appear. Third, make sure everything is correct. The Wall Street Journal states that one in five consumers has an error on one of their three credit reports according to a study released by the Federal Trade Commission.

2. Staying at one job too long. Gone are the days of being a lifer at one company. While your loyalty won’t come into question, your adaptability might. Employees who have been at the same company for over 10 years may have to prove themselves beyond their skill set.

You’ll have to show that even though you’ve worked with one company for so long, you’re still flexible. This is done through promotions and changing job titles as well as by taking on responsibilities that may not be in your job description.

3. Lacking social skills. Everyone will tell you that the job search isn’t a popularity contest. But it is a little about likability. Granted, there are jobs out there where personality has little to no influence on whether or not you’re hired; however, most jobs require a degree of social skill.

If it’s difficult for you to talk to others, there’s one way to fix this: talk to everybody. Practice being social while you’re at work, the grocery store, the park, etc. When it comes to improving your likability and social interactions, no place or person is off limits.

4. Over-sharing on social networks. Though you want to be relatable and transparent, hence the need to develop social skills, you don’t want to go too far. Hiring recruiters and managers will likely search for you online, and though your social profiles don’t necessarily have to be professional, they should be appropriate.

If you were a little crazy in college, maybe it’s time to remove the evidence. And while you may be madly in love with your partner, there’s no need to constantly shout it from the virtual rooftops. Use social media to your advantage in the job search — it can be a powerful tool that exhibits your personality without sullying your reputation.

While there is little you can control in the job search, there are other areas that are within your reach. Get these affairs in order, and get closer to your next job opportunity.

How do you handle job search obstacles like the ones mentioned above? Share with us below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by AMagill

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.