Here at website, we do our very best to bring you the latest, most creative ways to land a job you love in an economy we hate. We link to great resources, provide helpful resume tips, break stories about the state of the job market, today we’re taking a break from that. Here’s a list of surefire ways to sabotage your efforts in finding a job. Follow these steps and you’re guaranteed to get overlooked, and on the off chance you do get an interview, this list can help you screw that up, too.
So here they are, eleven ways to sabotage your job search (that can also ruin your productivity if you already have a job).
- Start your day with social media
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and whatever other social networks you frequent are great job search tools, right? They can be, but if you make them the central part of your daily activities, you can ruin your chances of making them useful. Don’t worry, most people on social media have no intention of helping you find a job, but they can give you great links to the funniest stuff on the Interwebs. Usually if you start your workday with social media, you will end your day with social media, and in between? You guessed it: Twitter sandwich. As far as addictions go, social media addictions rarely prove fatal, so . . . good choice! Just be sure not to schedule specific blocks of time for these great sites after you do meaningful job search work, not unless you want to actually find a job. (Gasp!)
- Sleep in
One of the great things about not having a job is that you avoid the dirty looks co-workers give when you traipse into work two hours late. Jobless people need not deal with that judgment. You can sleep in as long as you’d like (and stay up super late, too). You don’t even have to hit the snooze because what point is there in setting your alarm in the first place?
Rolling out of bed before the sun rises is what productive working people do. It’s not like you really need to make contact with any of those job-holding people. Hiring managers probably don’t pay attention to the fact that all your resume was emailed at 2 am, anyway. And you wouldn’t want it to appear like you take this job search thing seriously, would you? Any evidence that you were busy and active before 8 am would conceal your true slacker identity.
- Never schedule anything
You’re playing by your own rules now, it’s your world! You don’t have deadlines to hit or meetings to run to. You can update your resume whenever you like. Joblessness is freedom! You are your own boss. (Just ignore the fact that, if you’re following too many of these tips, your boss kinda sucks.) If you want your job search to snowball into a truly epic fail, scheduling your day is a big mistake. Schedules promote efficiency, productive work, and balance, those things can be so restricting, just like full-time jobs.
- Eliminate goal-setting
Goals? Goals!? You don’t need no stinking goals. You know the main goal is to find a job, and you’ll get there soon enough. See a job you like? Apply for it. That’s the only goal you need. Setting goals is known to have horrible side effects like self-improvement, increased motivation, feelings of personal fulfillment, joy, and excitement. That stuff will just get in the way of the self-pity vibe you’ve got going.
Don’t be a couch potato
- Dress Code = PJs
Look, your home office is your special place. You don’t have a job, so at the very least you deserve to be comfortable. Sure, if you dressed for success, you might eventually adopt an attitude that will lead you to success, but that’s not what sabotaging your job search is all about. Comfort is your only friend right now. Snuggle up to it with your plaid flannels and your fuzzy bunny slippers. If you don’t make yourself comfortable in your joblessness, you might actually feel compelled to find a job.
- Save your resume and cover letter writing until the last minute
Procrastination always pays off immediately, never forget that. You’ve written hundreds of versions of resumes, so you know it doesn’t take very long. If the deadline for submission is 6:00 pm ET, don’t start working on customizing your resume until 6:00 pm CT. That way, your resume will be on top of the stack, the last shall be first, right? You don’t need extra time to proofread, you don’t make typos. I think you know yourself well enough to throw together a good summary of your skills in no time. Trust us, your haste will show up on your resume, and it will find the recycle bin in less time than it took you to write it.
Hiring professionals spend an average of 10-15 seconds looking at each resume, how long do you really need to spend to write one?
- Insult people
If you want your cover letter to really zing (not to mention crash and burn) it’s a good idea to insult the competition, both yours and the company’s. Point out the usual flaws other candidates have to make yourself look better. And by all means, talk trash about your former employers. You need to make it 100% clear that your past loyalties have been thoroughly severed. This will also help potential employers recognize that you’re a resentful, back-stabbing, vindictive, petty, grudge-harboring jerk. It’s important they know this up front. If they do wind up granting you an interview, A) They must be really desperate; B) Repeat these insults in person. They probably didn’t read your cover letter very closely, so you’ll need to remind them how much you hate your previous employer.
- Use casual lingo in all your communications
You are no longer operating under the restrictions of the corporate communications police. Being free of a job means being free to let as much of your own personality shine through. Hiring managers are probably so used to reading polite, well thought out email from the corporate drones, that your smiley faces, sentence fragments, and catch phrases will be refreshing. They won’t want to hire you, but you will make them smile.
Don’t let the web distract you
- Browse the web as much as possible
This is the information age, so you need to stay on the information superhighway. Never mind the fact no one calls it that anymore. If you want to be equipped with the latest and greatest (and downright hilarious) breaking news, memes, blogs, gossip, and advice, keep your Internet browser open at all times. If you can, add applications to your desktop and any mobile devices you may have to be sure you stay as informed (and distracted) as possible.
- Don’t believe in yourself
Nothing breaks down a sabotage like positive thinking. If you really want to stay ensnared in unemployment, one of the best things to do is to constantly think about yourself, preferably your weaknesses. There’s no faster road to depression than merciless self-analysis. Don’t become distracted by the reality that everyone has similar weaknesses and troubles. Put yourself on an island of misery and never open your eyes to the myriad rescue boats zipping by. Repeat with me out loud if you need to. Stay cynical. Sabotage your job search on purpose. Remind yourself there are no good jobs. It’s a wonderful way to stop yourself from doing things you could easily accomplish if you try.
- Think of another way
Let us know what your self-destructive tendency is. We’d love to hear it. And if you spend enough time working on it, you won’t have to go back to the task of looking for a better job or doing a better job at your current position.
Seriously, let us know what you think. Then get back to work. You’ve got a job to do, and you know how to do it. Eliminate these sabotage steps from your daily routine, and you’ll love the results.