Are you the reason you’re not finding jobs?

3 ways you’re sabotaging your own job search.

You’ve got your resume together, your cover letter polished, references locked and loaded. You’ve been scouring the job boards for hours, days, weeks, maybe even months – and still haven’t found the right fit. If this is your reality, perhaps it’s time to consider it might be you. Here are three common mistakes that could be the reason the perfect job has yet to come your way.

1. You’re targeting the wrong jobs.

Keep missing the mark? Maybe you’re aiming at the wrong targets. Obvious as it may seem, you’ll never land a job if you’re looking for jobs that are wrong for you. Think hard about what type of positions you’re looking for and narrow your search parameters accordingly. When looking at a job, ask yourself if the description fits your experience and skill set. Do you feel capable of performing all the listed tasks? Do you truly have the experience requested in the requirements? If the answer is no, you’re likely wasting time and energy. Nine times out of ten, poor searches yield poor results.

Only apply for positions you are qualified for, and try not to be too hard-set on a specific company or position. You may want a big job to write home about with a big Fortune 500 company like Apple or Berkshire Hathaway, but realistically, there’s not enough room to accommodate the entire workforce. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, try spreading your net wider. Who knows, your dream job could be in a role or with a company you haven’t heard of yet!

2. Your resume isn’t aligned with your professional goals.

You’ve led six-figure marketing campaigns and built homes for needy families out of the kindness of your heart. You should be proud, but how does that pertain to your experience as a graphic designer? A resume focused on your goal profession is the critical resource to get your foot in the door for that coveted interview.

Your resume should highlight relevant strengths and demonstrate that you have the professional skills and background required to excel in a given position. Did you play a part in making the graphics used in that six-figure marketing campaign? Did you design a room in the home you built for needy families? This is what you should be focusing on. Use strong, concise language to make your resume stand out in the over-saturated crowd. Also, make sure your resume is devoid of any outdated or superfluous information.

3. You’re not using your network to its full potential

As the old parable goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know. And this is truer in networking than ever before. According to Forbes, networking is still the best way to find a job in today’s career market. That doesn’t mean to hit up your extended family and entire high school class begging for work, but it’s never a bad idea to phone a friend and ask for help.

Never undermine the effectiveness of network. If you have a friend or family member with connections to your desired industry, use them as a resource. Lean on past colleagues for leads to companies of interest. If possible, talk to someone in a similar role and ask about their story (a proud employee will be happy to share). If it worked for them, it could work for you.

Last year was America’s best year of job growth since 1999. Great news if your New Year’s resolution is to find a career you love! Now is the time to be proactive. Remember, your job search should be your full-time job. Be open. Be receptive. You never know where you’ll find your dream job!