Sometimes in life our actions are completely counter-intuitive! Take, for example, if you decide to go on a diet. The first thing most people do is think they must eliminate something or cut back. In reality, the challenge of a diet is you must add more good foods versus taking away bad foods. The good naturally replaces the bad. But, it is a huge challenge to plan and add good healthy foods to your diet 5 to 6 times a day versus running through the drive through 2 times a day. 

The same is true for your job search. Are you going to get job healthy by adding good habits to your daily routine, or are you going to stay fat, miserable and unemployed by choosing the “fast food” route? Of course, the challenge is to know what is healthy and what is not. Here are the top 5 unhealthy job search habits and how to replace them with healthy ones.

1. Targeting Human Resources and Recruiters

Yes, eventually you will likely have to talk to those folks, but they should be the last group you actually try to get in front of. Most people think they make the hiring decisions – they don’t; the hiring manager does. And not only that, but the hiring manager is the one who has a vested interest in filling the position. They are the one who will lose sleep if the position is not filled. So, change your habit of going to HR and instead start going directly to the source or even better, get a referral to the source (that gives you the inside edge).

2. Thinking the Interview Has Anything to Do with You

In reality, your objective should be just like a salesperson when they are trying to make the sale. Your number one job is to serve others. And, the better job you do of proving that, the better you will be received. The interview has very little to do with you and everything to do with how you are going to solve the problems the company is facing. You find that out through research and good Socratic interviewing.

3. Trying to Be the “Most Qualified Candidate”

Honestly, the most qualified person rarely get’s the job. First of all, the most qualified person probably didn’t even apply. Secondly, he or she may have the best technical qualifications and years of experience, but be an absolutely horrible fit for the culture and objectives of the company. The best candidate is the best fit, the one who can help the organization meet their goals, not cause a huge rift and stay for a long, long time. Simple enough, but more challenging to prove than just copying the qualifications from a job description and expecting an offer.

4. Using Quick Fix (Fast Food) Solutions

The list goes on and on and includes “resume distribution” services, and fancy resume writing packages and SEO services. Unfortunately, all of these quick fixes have one thing in common. They are passive ways to get a job. That is also called gambling. Sure, sometimes they work; and sometimes people win the lottery. Instead, do what 80% of successful job seekers do and get proactively involved by researching and contacting as many companies and individuals that you possibly can.

5. Posting Your Resume on Major Job Boards

This may be the most fattening solution of all! Why? Because it serves our need for immediate gratification, yet gives us virtually no benefit. We feel like we have done something, and in reality, we just took a short cut and went through the drive-through. By taking the time to continually post your resume and apply for jobs you are taking valuable time away from healthy, pro-active solutions. Think about the act of posting a resume on-line. It’s not even as good as buying a lottery ticket. At least when you play the lottery, you find out in a week or so why you didn’t win!

Taking the easy way out is what most people do (you know, because it’s easy). For true success, you have to do just the opposite of what most people are doing. All you have to do is get off the couch and stop waiting for the phone to ring. Instead, cause the phone to ring. Wow, I can see the job search fat just melting off. Congratulations, you have now joined the ranks of fit, active, fulfilled job seekers.