A couple of messages in my in box reminded me of what job seekers can do that won't help their job search. The first one was from someone who told me that she can't find any jobs to apply for because she doesn't want to work with a recruiter and every company hires only through recruiters.
I told her that wasn't the case and suggested she use LinkUp to search for jobs direct from company sites, create a LinkedIn profile and start networking, and used the job search engines to search for listings in her career field and location. She emailed back and said the first three jobs she found using a job search engine had recruiters as contacts. So she stopped looking.
Despite the fact that I had explained that a recruiter can help your job search and that there were hundreds of other jobs that met her search criteria, she quit. Unfortunately, that's not going to work in this job market. You need to spread a wide net and apply for as many jobs as you can find that are a fit.
In the second case, the person sen me a lovely personalized email message, along with a resume, reminding me that I had referred him for an interview for his last position. I hadn't. I don't know the person or the company and I don't run an executive search firm.
The scenarios aren't the same, but in both cases the job seekers were spinning their wheels and what they were, or weren't, doing wasn't going to help the job search.
What's important when you're job searching is to focus your job search, network with "real" contacts who can help, and spend your time where it's going to get you results. Take a look at these 10 steps to find a new job to make sure you're using your job search time as efficiently as possible and focusing your efforts on helping you find a job, not hindering your chances.