March 2, 2011 | | Leave a comment I don’t know about you, but where I live the buds are starting to show on the trees and we’re noticing more birds around. You know what that means: Spring is coming. Warm weather is approaching. And job hunters will be on the prowl. I know you’re probably still in classes and thinking about your career is the last thing on your mind. But it helps to have someone like Kathryn Ullrich on your side. She is an author, executive search consultant and associate director of Alumni Career Services at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Let her do the work for you. Ullrich recently wrote “Getting to the Top: Strategies for Career Success.” She notes there are 10 common mistakes job hunters make. And there are ways to avoid these problems during your job hunt. Even if you’re not ready to jump into the market, there are some good ideas here to keep in mind over the months to come. Why should you care? Well, the market is tight. According to job-placement firm Manpower, five of six Americans (that’s a whopping 84 percent) said they want to look for a new job this year. That is why it is key to find a way to stand out – and for the right reasons. Here are some quick hits of that top 10 Common Mistakes Ullrich hasâ€¦See if you have done any of them and think about the corrections. I know I’ve done most of themâ€¦How about you? 1. Playing the generalist card: Now more than ever, companies look for specialists, not generalists.Â Develop a personal brand, distinguish your skills and strengths, and design your job search around specific industries and functions. 2. Bloated resumes: Employers don’t read resumes — they scan them in mere seconds.Â Put your resume on a word diet and eliminate the bloat.Â Odds are you can lose up to a third of the words without compromising the content. 3. Missing your target: Most job seekers are “me-centric.”Â Instead, focus on your target. Know the job you’re seeking, what companies are looking for, and how you can best present your experience. 4. Hibernating online: Most successful job searches are the result of networking, not online job postings.Â Resist spending more time in front of your computer than you do in front of human beings. 5. Misguided networking efforts: The first commandment for networkers: Thou shalt not ask for a job while networking.Â Why? Because the sole purpose of networking is to seek advice and information. 6. Preparing too little — or not at all — for interviews: Before every interview, do your homework on the company, from knowing the executive team to learning about key industry issues, trends, and competitors. 7. Missed opportunities on social media: The vast majority of employers and recruiters look at your profile online: Linked In, Facebook, and other social-media Web sites.Â Have your online presence tell a story and tout your personal brand. 8. Weak communication skills: Communication skills can make or break a job search.Â Many job seekers dull conversations by sharing too many details.Â Others, on the flip side, share too little information — glossing over their successes or sharing what “we” did without spotlighting their personal contribution. 9. Failing to put in the hours: Being a serious, successful job seeker is a full-time position.Â Still, many people report spending “under ten hours” per week on their search.Â Don’t be one of them. 10. Going it alone: Flying solo, particularly in today’s turbulence, is tough.Â Form a job search team that meets or talks on a weekly basis.Â Together, you can add structure, support, and a sense of accountability to your searches. Interesting stuff, no? I’m thinking she’s on the right track.