Thursday, March 28, 2013

17 Ways to Be Happier at Work

By Geoffrey James

It's not difficult to experience more joy at work. You just need to know the rules.

A reader recently pointed me to some "rules for a happier life" that various folks have posted in various forms. Here's my take on those rules as they apply to the workplace:

1. Don't compare yourself to others.
Everybody, and I mean everybody, starts out in a different place and is headed on their own journey. You have NO idea where someone else's journey might lead them, so drawing comparisons is a complete waste of time.

2. Never obsess over things you cannot control.
While it's often important to know about other things--like the economy, the markets that you sell to, the actions that others might take, your focus should remain on what you actually control, which is 1) your own thoughts and 2) your own actions.

3. Know and keep your personal limits and boundaries.
While your job might sometimes seem like the most important thing in your world, you're killing a part of yourself if you let work situations push you into places that violate your privacy and your integrity.

4. Don't over commit yourself or your team.
It's great to be enthusiastic and willing to go the "extra mile," but making promises that you (or your team) can't reasonably keep is simply a way to create failure and disappointment.
5. Remember you get the same amount of time every day as everyone else.
You may feel you're short on time and that you need more of it, but the simple truth is that when the day started, you got your fair share: 24 hours. Nobody got any more than you did, so stop complaining.
6. Don't take yourself so seriously; nobody else does.
The ability to laugh at your foibles not only makes you happier as a person, it makes you more powerful, more influential and more attractive to others. If you can't laugh at yourself, everyone else will be laughing behind your back.

7. Daydream more rather than less.
The idea that daydreaming and working are mutually exclusive belongs back in the 20th century. It's when you let your thoughts wander that you're more likely to have the insights that will make you both unique and more competitive.

8. Don't bother with hate; it's not worth the effort.
Hate is an emotional parasite that eats away at your energy and health. If something is wrong with the world and you can change it, take action. If you can't take action, you're better off to forgive and forget.

9. Make peace with your past lest it create your future.
Focusing on past mistakes or wrongs inflicted on you is exactly like driving a car while looking in the rear view mirror. You'll keep heading in the same direction until you collide with something solid.

10. Don't try to "win" every argument.
Some battles aren't worth fighting, and many people are easier to handle when they think they've won the argument. What's important isn't "winning," but what you, and the other people involved, plan to do next.

11. Remember that nobody is in charge of your happiness except you.
While some work environments are inherently difficult, if you're consistentlymiserable it's your fault. You owe it to yourself and your coworkers to either find a job that makes you happy or make the best of the job you've got.

12. Smile and laugh more frequently.
Contrary to popular belief, smiling and laughter are not the RESULT of being happy; they're part of a cycle that both creates and reinforces happiness. Find reasons to smile.  Never, ever suppress a laugh.
13. Don't waste precious energy on malice and gossip.
Before you tell a story about anybody else, or listen to such a story, ask yourself four questions: 1) Is it true? 2) Is it kind? 3) Is it necessary? and 4) Would I want somebody telling a similar story about me?

14. Don't worry what others think about you; it's none of your business.
You can't mind read and you don't have everyone else wired into a lie detector. Truly, you really have NO IDEA what anyone is REALLY thinking about you. It's a total waste of time and energy to try.

15. Remember that however bad (or good) a situation is, it will inevitably change.
The nature of the physical universe is change. Nothing remains the same; everything is, as the gurus say, transitory. Whether you're celebrating or mourning or something in between, this, too, will pass.

16. Trash everything in your work area that isn't useful or beautiful.
Think about it: you're going to spend about a third of your waking adult life at work. Why would you want to fill your work environment--and that part of your life--with objects that are useless and ugly?

17. Believe that the best is yet to come, no matter what.
When my grandmother was widowed in her 70s, she went back to college, traveled across Europe in youth hostels, and learned Japanese painting, among many other activities. The last thing she told me was: "You know, Geoffers, life begins at 90."

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Tips to Job Hunt Using Social Media

By Kristin Burnham
If you think LinkedIn is the only social networking site to job hunt, you may be mistaken. Susan Vitale, CMO of iCIMS, a talent acquisition technology company, says job seekers are often remiss in excluding popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"There are misconceptions that job seekers should be leaning toward LinkedIn to find jobs," Vitale says. "But for companies that are more progressive, they think outside LinkedIn and have been very successful in filling positions."
To attract headhunters and be the first to know about open positions, you need to think outside the LinkedIn box, she says. Here's a look at five ways you can job hunt on both popular and lesser-known social networks.
1. Follow Companies on Facebook
If there's a company you want to work for, be sure you "like" them on Facebook, Vitale says. When new job positions open, many companies willpost it on their Facebook page, or have a tab dedicated entirely to open positions.

"Companies tend to leverage Facebook to share jobs online through microsites or a tab within their company page," Vitale says. "Anyone who follows that brand on Facebook will be the first to know if something opens up," she says.

2. SEO Your Facebook Profile
When Facebook's new search tool, Graph, was introduced earlier this year,some people worried about its privacy implications. Facebook Graph does make it easier for others to find public information about you-bad if you don't understand your privacy settings, but potentially good if you're in the market for a new job.
"I think it will take some time for recruiting to catch on to Facebook, but I know some recruiters who will be all over it," Vitale says. One example: A quick search of "People interested in Java who live in San Francisco" returns more than 1,000 Facebook profiles.
As more recruiters turn to Facebook to find talent, it's important that you update your profile with relevant information, Vitale says. Be sure to update your education section, previous job experience, skill sets and languages you speak.

"The more relevant information you pump into your profile, the better off you'll be," she says.
3. Search Hashtags on Twitter
Not many people consider searching Twitter when they're looking for a new job, Vitale says. But you should.
"Twitter isn't just to tweet and share your thoughts," she says. "Technologists want to be with a progressive company, and these companies will often post open jobs on Twitter with appropriate hashtags that are easy to search."
Start by searching hashtags related to your industry and location with "#jobs" or "#jobsearch," Vitale recommends. Try a few iterations of that search until you discover some leads.
Another plus to job searching on Twitter: It can be easier to find and connect with someone at that company, she says.
"Searching for jobs on Twitter means you literally have the most up-to-date job listings since they're posted in real-time. If you find a job you're interested in, reach out to whoever tweeted it," Vitale says. "You have an advantage there because posts aren't as anonymous as they are on job boards or LinkedIn."
4. Be Active on Quora, Squidoo
Question and answer site Quora and community interest page Squidoo are two sites that recruiters frequent looking for talent, Vitale says. If you're not part of these communities, you should start investing time in them.

"These sites are a great way to brand yourself as a subject expert, showcase your talent and show off your interests," Vitale says. "Recruiters can get a sense of who you are here-whether you're a good candidate for a Ruby on Rails job because you've answered a bunch of questions and are ranked high."
5. Don't Neglect Google+
"Some people think Google+ is a flash in the pan, others are all over it," Vitale says. Because of Google+'s integration with its search engine, Vitale says it's important to maintain a profile on its social network.
"When recruiters are looking for talent they go to Google first because it's so easy to find people and resumes and associated sites," she says. "Because Google ranks Google+ profile pages high, it's important to fill out yours with updated information and optimize it for your job hunt."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Six Must-Ask Interview Questions

By Joe Turner
Interviewing can be a gut-wrenching process. Most books on how to interview list hundreds of interview questions you need to be ready to answer, but few talk about the questions you need to ask.    

Take more control at your next interview by asking some pointed questions of your own. Here are six must-ask questions and why you should know the answers.

1. What happened to the person who previously did this job? (If a new position: How has this job been performed in the past?)

Why You Need to Ask: You need to know any problems or past history associated with this position. For instance, was your predecessor fired or promoted? Is this a temporary position or brand new? The answer will tell you about management's expectations and how the company is gearing to grow.

2. Why did you choose to work here? What keeps you here?

Why You Need to Ask: Although you may like this company, you're an outsider. You need to find out what an insider has to say about working there. Who better to ask than your interviewer? This also forces the interviewer to step out of their official corporate role and answer personally as an employee and potential coworker.

3. What is the first problem the person you hire must attend to?

Why You Need to Ask: You need to be on the same page as your new manager, as well as be clear on what the initial expectations are and that you can deliver. What you don't want is to allow yourself to be misled about the job’s requirements and end up overwhelmed and over your head after the first week on the job.

4. What can you tell me about the individual to whom I would report?

Why You Need to Ask: It doesn't matter how wonderful the company might be; your time will be spent working for a specific manager. You need to find out who this person is and what kind of manager he is -- earlier rather than later, before personality clashes develop. If you're an independent type used to working through solutions on your own, for instance, you'll chafe when you find you're being supervised by amicromanager.

5. What are the company's five-year sales and profit projections?

Why You Need to Ask: You need to know about the future of the company you plan to spend several years of your life working for. It doesn't have to be this exact question. For example, you might want to ask about the company's future plans for new products and services or any planned market expansion. Of course, you've done your own research, but nothing can beat an insider’s observations and insights. This also shows you've done your homework and are serious about this company.

6. What's our next step?

Why You Need to Ask: This is your closing and the most important question to ask at the end of the interview. You need to know what happens after this point. Many books advise asking for the job now, but most people may feel too intimidated to bluntly do so. And with more candidates already scheduled for interviews, the company is not likely to make you an offer yet. You may also need to do some additional research on the company, making it too early to ask for the job.

A good compromise: Take the lead and set a plan for follow-up. You'll also be able to gauge the company's enthusiasm with the answer. Don't forget to ask for your interviewer’s direct phone number and the best time to call.

What to Remember

As a job seeker, the key to a good interview is to find out as much about your potential employer as possible. Asking these six questions will not only make you appear more committed as a candidate, but will also give you better insight into both the challenges and opportunities that may lie ahead for you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Avoid 16 Common IT Resume Mistakes

You have great IT skills and impressive technology experience, but if you don't present your background effectively in your resume, you career may be going nowhere. To help position yourself for success, we talk to career experts to identify the 16 most common resumes mistakes-and we offer advice on how to fix them.

By Rich Hein 
CIO — Your IT resume provides recruiters and hiring managers with a critical first impression of who you are and what you offer. Working in a field as competitive as IT means you have to do everything you can to ensure your resume get noticed. Making a bad first impression (or no impression at all) is a sure way to get your resume moved into the 'No' pile.
"They [resumes] get eliminated for all sorts of reasons just to get the pile down to something manageable," says Rick Endres, president of the Washington Network and former CIO of the U.S. Congress, as well deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Commerce for Technology Policy. To help you build a better resume, talked to Endres and other experts to identify common errors and some not-so-common ones.

IT Resume Mistake #1: Typos, Misspellings and Bad Grammar

Come on, folks, we shouldn't even have to mention this one and yet, according to the experts, job candidates are disqualified all the time for making typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. "Most jobs put a premium on communication skills. Hiring managers and recruiters aren't going to be interested if you can't communicate well on your own behalf," says Endres.

IT Resume Mistake #2: Too Much Technology Jargon

Job seekers commonly flood the experience section of their resumes with examples of tools and technologies, making it difficult to distinguish achievements from technology. You want both technical and nontechnical readers to understand what you've done.
Jennifer Hay, Credentialed IT Resume Writer with, offers this example of an achievement statement that blends technology with well-understood achievements.:
"Developed a hybrid strategy to keep costs down by using data center hardware with SAN deployment for high-availability data, and cloud-based storage with Amazon S3 and for backup and archival.
"Select those top tools that are most important to your career goals and integrate those into your resume. Your remaining tools and technologies can be added in a section on your resume titled "Technical Skills" or "Technology Profile," says Hay.

IT Resume Mistake #3: Poor Resume File Name

"Almost every resume that I see says things like resume1 or resumeshort as opposed to the person's name or perhaps the position they are applying for," says Endres. If it's being filed somewhere on a PC, you want to make it as easy as possible for your resume to be found. You certainly don't want to rely on someone having to open it up in order to figure out what it is and who it's from.

IT Resume Mistake #4: Making Your Resume the Wrong Length

IT professionals often rely on advice they encounter for nontechnical resumes. For example, the length of the resume, "For IT professionals, it's often not realistic to limit it to two pages. I commonly write resumes that are 2.5 pages long, with another for education, certifications and a technical profile," says Hay.
Endres says that IT professionals should aim to get their resumes down to two, at most three, pages. "If you got something important to say, I don't think it hurts for you to add supplemental information in the email that would be evidence of your claims."
Your resume has technical details, certifications, professional development information, along with your technology profile. This information takes up space. "Technical hiring managers aren't satisfied with this minimal description. They want to know how you did it and what technology you used. They want to know with which technologies you have skills and recent experience. Most IT professionals still have a long list of tools, processes and methodologies to include," says Hay.

IT Resume Mistake #5: Not Having an Updated Career Brand

All too often technical resumes focus on the theme of saving time, money and other resources. "Although this might have been a persuasive way of branding yourself several years ago, that is no longer the case. IT is 'expected' to save money--and lots of it--by streamlining processes, consolidating databases and eliminating redundancies. Why would you want to make it the primary theme in your resume?" asks Hay.
What's special about you that differentiates you from your peers? This has to be clear in your resume if you want to be noticed by hiring managers.
To stay at the forefront of the IT industry, job seekers need to continually reevaluate their career brand. "As we emerge from the recession, businesses want to be agile and responsive to rapid change. They want IT to be a partner in enabling them to identify new market opportunities, create innovations and develop a competitive strategy.
Nowadays, branding plays a much bigger role in promoting a job seeker's candidacy, and this is accomplished through a strategic combination of summary paragraphs, testimonials, achievement snapshots, pedigree proof and core competencies. All of these subsections add keywords to the resume, but more critically, they also add focus and insight into the job seekers unique experience, achievements, and capabilities," says Cheryl Simpson, president of Executive Resume Rescue.

IT Resume Mistake #6: Unclear Positioning

If a hiring manager can't look at your resume and quickly know what level of position you are seeking then you' better think again, says Simpson. "When a recruiter reads an IT resume, she or he should be able to tell in one-two seconds what type and level of position the job seeker is targeting. By including a title, a tagline and industry keywords, IT executives can quickly demonstrate how their career goals align with the company's hiring needs," says Simpson.

IT Resume Mistake #7: Too Little Emphasis on Strategy

When you get into the senior ranks of IT, providing evidence of the ability to craft technology strategy, win buy-in from stakeholders and champion the vision is critical, yet most IT resumes fail in this department.
"Senior IT managers must showcase their ability to align technology planning with business needs and goals through specific achievement stories. Through the resume's summary, position descriptors and achievement statements, the executive job seeker can deepen recruiter insight into their ability to leverage technology as a key contributor to business success -- which is exactly what most companies are seeking," says Hay.

IT Resume Mistake #8: Using the Wrong Resume Format

You can use two formats for technical resumes, says Hay: chronological and hybrid. IT hiring managers want to know what you did, for whom and during what time frame. They're typically focused on the last seven-eight years of employment. They want to understand the technical environment in which the person worked, including the size and complexity of the IT department.
There are few industries that have changed as radically as technology, so describing an achievement in 2013 has a completely different technical and business context than something that was achieved years earlier. "Functional resume formats that are designed to minimize job and skills gaps are not a good choice for technical positions," says Hay.

IT Resume Mistake #9: Not Telling the Full Story of Your Achievements

IT resumes are often project-driven, according to Simpson. "Job seekers need to provide project context details in order to help their readers understand the value of the initiative they're describing," says Simpson. Does your resume answer these questions?
·         Why was the project needed?
·         What result was it intended to create?
·         What was the project's investment, size and timeline?
·         What problems arose throughout implementation?
·         How were these resolved?
·         Was the project delivered on time and on budget and what impact did it have on operations?
IT professionals often list each of their achievements as a single event, without trying to make a correlation between projects. "Since many IT departments follow technology blueprints designed to modernize the technical landscape over time, it's a lost opportunity when they don't connect with these overall strategic plans. Other plans that are more tactical can also offer a connection with the planning process," says Hay, who offers an example below.
Look and you'll notice that if the achievements below were listed individually they would not have the same impact as they do when showing a 30-60-90 day plan.
Selected to serve in an interim role as Associate Director to mitigate business risk and stabilize transition to an outsourced model for application development and infrastructure operations. Resolved stakeholder conflicts by quickly creating tangible targets for a 30-60-90 day plan that would produce immediate benefits.
30 days out: Created a more realistic project-demand model to allocate sufficient resources for project work, eliminating missed commitments. Worked with IO Leads and business users to ensure sustainability.
60 days out: Developed a transparent process for communicating information about project prioritization and resource allocation, eliminating the view of IT as a black box.
90 days out: Implemented a cost-management model for managing program costs.
"When reading this resume, you can almost hear the sound of each achievement being checked off: Boom! Boom! Boom! Wouldn't you want this professional on your team?," asks Hay.
While not all of this information can be included for every project in the resume, it is imperative that you capture the relevant big picture details that will best enable hiring managers to "perceive the golden thread of success woven throughout the fabric of their work experience," says Simpson.

IT Resume Mistake #10: Being Too Modest About Achievements

IT professionals are typically modest about their achievements, so they tend to include only the barest details on their resumes, which are typically just about the technical results, Hay says. With so many projects being implemented by thousands of other IT professionals, this isn't helping them stand apart from the pack.
"When an IT professional goes beyond just the end result and thinks in terms of how they were able to achieve the results within a challenging business and technical context, then they become unique," says Hay. IT resumes are memorable if they tell a straightforward story that connects the value to the business to the technical environment and to the team efforts. Oftentimes, this story begins with why the project was funded.

IT Resume Mistake #11: Not Aging Achievements and Skills Gracefully

Two of the most common mistakes IT professionals make, according to experts, are leaving outdated technology in their resume because they aren't sure what to remove and offering details about job experience that is no longer relevant.
According to Hay, there are three primary career paths for IT professionals:
  1. Those that focus on emerging or current technologies
  2. Those that focus on high-legacy technologies, such as COBOL
  3. Those that are somewhere in between, bridging the gap between high legacy and emerging.
What technologies you include in your resume depends on your current path. Some older technologies are still widely used today. Where these technologies overlap with your experience and ability, you'll need to give it some careful thought about whether to include them.
"There are employers who do care about your ability to program in COBOL, but do you want to be a COBOL programmer again? Most companies have legacy systems that someone has to operate, maintain and enhance. If you decide to stop chasing technologies and step back from technology's leading edge, that someone could be you. It's a choice, but be clear about your motivations. It will impact your career," says Hay.
When it comes to job experience details, the world of IT changes so rapidly and IT resumes require updates far more frequently than other industries. "Even something done three or four years ago is dated. As a general rule, IT professionals should routinely review their resumes every six months. Remember that older experience should set the foundation for understanding why the person is good at what they do now," says Hay.
As your achievement statements age, use the following steps:
  1. Remove the tools and technologies
  2. Remove the technical details
  3. Remove the primary achievement
  4. Remove the position

IT Resume Mistake #12: Discounting Important Business Knowledge

Companies want it all-- technical skills, soft skills and knowledge of the business side. "IT professionals tend to see their value in terms of tools and technologies, with only a brief mention of aligning projects with business goals. Knowledge of business applications is every bit as important as your technical knowledge. It should command space on your resume," says Hay.
Hay says learning about business applications is done more as an afterthought and is often treated as preliminary work that must be done before getting on with the real work--the technology piece.
Consider, for example, a healthcare employer who is seeking a database developer for its claims management systems. You have lots of Oracle experience, but the employer uses SQL Server. If you only mention technology, your resume will be lost in the crowd. However, when your resume also describes your claims processing experience, including the fact that you have worked extensively with Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) for Medicare claims, you now stand out from the crowd.
"The wise employer knows that it is much faster, easier and cheaper to teach an Oracle developer to work with SQL Server than to teach a SQL developer about the healthcare industry," says Hay.

IT Resume Mistake #13: Using a Job Title Instead of Describing the Actual Role

"IT departments have never done a good job of using titles that actually relate to what a person does, and they certainly haven't kept up with all the changes in technology," says Hay, who frequently sees IT professionals trying to "live" with the title they were given, despite the fact that it is a complete mismatch for their actual responsibilities.
The title of IT director covers a wide range of responsibilities depending on the size of the organization and their technical initiatives. One IT director might have a small two-person shop and perform the role of a Systems Administrator and IT Project Manager, while another IT director might manage 30 staff members and work at the CIO level. This conflict needs to be resolved in the resume, without misrepresenting the facts.
Here are two examples Hay has provided of how this can be done:
Home Depot April 2010 - Present
Data Modeler
Assume additional responsibilities of a Data Architect, overseeing the data governance and data quality programs.
Home Depot April 2010 - Present
Data Modeler (actual job role: Data Architect)
Provide oversight for data quality programs to maintain data governance maturity and adherence to business rules. 

IT Resume Mistake #14: Not Having Your Resume in PDF Format

For your own security, convert your resume to a PDF document so it can't be compromised or altered. There are a lot of free options out there, just use Google to search for 'free PDF editor', and if you're a Word user you can also save your Doc as a PDF. "Your reputation is being emailed around. You need to lock it down," says Endres.

IT Resume Mistake #15: Long Difficult-to-Scan Paragraphs

The first people looking at most IT resumes are only scanning them. There will be plenty of time to tell your story once you get called but writing a dense paragraph from margin to margin isn't good," says Endres. Keep it short and as succinct as possible.

IT Resume Mistake #16: Not Enough Crisp Action Verbs

When recruiters review a technology resume, according to Simpson, one of the things they often do is read through the work history section by quickly by glancing down the left-hand side of the page. They read the first few words of each bullet, then move on to the next one. This snapshot helps them decide whether they should take the time to read the resume more deeply.
The problem is says Simpson, "that in most cases the IT resume has been written with weak language, repetitive verbs, and an overwhelming focus on tactical execution. The solution is crisp language, action verbs, a focus on the results of the execution and how this impacted the company's top- or bottom-line," says Simpson.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Job searching in a mobile world

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder Writer 

Forgot to turn the lights off after you left your house? Your phone can turn them off for you. Want to deposit a check into your bank account? Your phone can take care of that. Interested in capturing videos and pictures of your family vacation? Your phone can email the album to your family and friends.

Today, cellphones are capable of so much more than making a call. They can even help your job search. Checking out jobs using a mobile application, emailing potential employers, killing time on your phone while waiting to begin an interview, conducting an interview on your cellphone -- these are just a few of the ways cellphones have become integrated into a job search.

From searching to interviewing to following up, here's a guide to job-search cellphone etiquette.

Searching for a job
Job-related mobile apps are great resources to use when you're short on time. However, before sending your job application materials to a prospective company, be sure that you've done your research. Learn about the company and the open position so that your cover letter and other application materials are relevant. It may be tempting to send a résumé for every open position you find, but being choosy can be more beneficial and productive.

When you contact hiring managers using a mobile app or emailing from your phone, you still need to be formal and professional. You aren't texting friends, so proper grammar and spelling and complete sentences are required. Also, consider removing any automated signatures your smartphone adds to your email, such as "sent from my mobile phone." This doesn't add anything to the note and may come across as though you sent the message in a hurry.

Interviewing for the position
When you get contacted for an interview, consider your cellphone's role in the process. If you've listed your cellphone number as your main contact number, be aware of your surroundings when you answer any potential business calls. If you're out with friends, go to a quiet area to take the call, or return the call in a timely fashion when you can speak privately. It's not OK to text a response to the hiring manager.  

If a hiring manager requests a phone interview, consider whether using a cellphone is the best choice. Will you have strong enough service where you plan to take the call? Does your phone have a history of dropping calls? If you deem your phone reliable, choose a distraction-free location so you can focus on acing the interview.

If you're invited to an in-person interview, use your cellphone as much as you like before you arrive. However, once you check in and are awaiting the meeting, keep the cellphone out of sight. Put it away so you can focus on the interview instead of getting distracted by a friend's text message or an intense game. If you have to use it while you're waiting, make sure to turn it off or keep it on silent once you get called in for the interview.

Following up
Within 24-48 hours after your interview, email or mail a thank-you note that recaps conversation highlights and expresses your continued interest in the position. While it may be tempting to shoot off an email from your phone as soon as the interview ends, it may be best to wait until you get home. That way, you can send the response that night or the next day so you stay fresh in the hiring manager's mind.  

As cellphones continue improving and becoming more crucial to everyday life, remember that professionalism and good judgment are key to making a good impression on employers. That goes for every part of the job search.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Website - Check It Out!!

Our new website is live! Visit for the latest IT jobs, industry news, insights and other great resources to help you find your next IT career opportunity.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

16 job search errors you're probably making

Rachel Farrell, special to 

Over the years, hiring managers have born witness to every hiring, interviewing, résumé, cover letter and negotiation mistake there is.

You know what these blunders are. We've told you several times. Yet you (and hundreds of other job seekers) continue to make common job search mistakes.

From those who see your mistakes over and over, here are 16 common job search mistakes to avoid -- and some of them may surprise you.

1. You don't keep your options open"Candidates tend to think that if they interview for a job they will get an offer, so they do not apply and interview for multiple positions," says Joanie Spain, director of public relations and career services, School of Advertising Art, a graphic design college. "They wait until one plays out completely, putting their job search on hold until knowing for sure they didn't get the offer."

"By having many more irons in the fire, you diversify the risk and disappointment that is inevitable when any single opportunity disappears," adds Roy Cohen, author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach."

"You also present yourself as a more passionate and energetic candidate. You're in the 'zone' -- a point where you're in the flow of information and ideas -- and that makes you more valuable."

2. You turn up your nose at job descriptions"Entry-level candidates are reluctant to apply for a position unless the job sounds like their 'dream job' or they have all qualifications listed," Spain says. "Rather than going on an interview to get more information, they base decisions about applying on the job description alone. They fail to see that all interview experience is good experience, or that, until there is an offer on the table, there is no decision to make."

3. You haven't perfected the thank-you note"Don't be too verbose with a thank-you note after an interview. Sending out a version of "War and Peace" can come across as desperate and needy for a job. However, sending a one or two sentence thank-you note comes across as flippant, not well thought-out and potentially shows indifference regarding the job to the employer," says Mike Barefoot, senior account manager at Red Zone Resources, a recruitment firm. "We encourage candidates to keep them to four to eight sentences."

4. You don't check your references"Always give out references that you've pre-screened. We sometimes see candidates give out references that were never checked with and the references feedback isn't always kind," Barefoot says. "Also, make sure they're predominantly managers. An occasional colleague is okay, but contemporaries and friends really don't carry that much weight in helping you land a position."

5. You've got poor business acumen"Managers are becoming more savvy and are taking candidates out to lunch for interviews. They want to see how you treat a restaurant staff and see the 'real' you. If you're rude to them or don't seem appreciative for their hard work to make your meal pleasurable, managers wonder how you'll treat contemporaries you work with," Barefoot says.

6. You have a messy briefcase"A messy briefcase can imply the person is unorganized, messy and unprepared, and that their work will be less than optimal," says Ronald Kaufman, author of "Anatomy of Success." "Someone who is neat, clean, organized and prepared in all areas conveys they're serious about getting a job and working."

7. You discount temporary positions"Many employers coming out of a recession want to hire on a temporary or temp- to perm- basis. We have already seen several contractors be offered permanent positions after they have proven themselves," says Jeffrey Weinstock, Esq. president, Rhodes & Weinstock, a recruiting firm. "Not only will the temporary position pay some bills, think of it as an audition for a potential perm position, or at least a way to get a good reference for another position."

8. You have a bad attitude"Poor attitudes come through in telephone calls and in interviews. If you are not positive, why would a potential employer want to hire you?" asks Weinstock. "It may take some time, but by being positive, by doing all the right things, by seeing each position as an opportunity, it will happen."

9. You include too much work history"Many job seekers over 40 think that they have to take their work history back to their first job out of college," says Cheryl E. Palmer, career coach and résumé writer. " All that is needed is the last 10-15 years of your work history."

10. You use your work email address on your résumé"Some people do not regularly check their personal email, so they use their employers' email instead," Palmer says. "This sends a negative message to potential employers that the job seekers will not hesitate to use their equipment for personal use."

11. You take "no" as a final answer"No" usually only means "no" for that position, says Bruce Hurwitz, president and CEO, Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, LTD.
"If you are rejected for a job you should send a thank-you note, thank the employer for the opportunity, and wish them well. No one does that. When the next opening comes around, he'll remember you," says Hurwitz.

12. You lack tact"Be determined without being pushy. Calling or emailing to ask about the status of your résumé or interview can be a double-edged sword," says Rod Hughes, director of communications, Oxford Communications. "A tactful follow up can place you top of mind with the hiring manager, while incessant calling or emailing can push your résumé right off the table."

13. You don't search for yourself on the Internet"Your would-be employer is probably going to look you up online, so you should know what is out there," says Amanda O'Brien, vice president of marketing, Hall Web Services. "Clean up what you can, check your privacy settings on social networks and if it is something you can't get down off the internet, you may want to consider talking to the company about it."

14. You have a 'death by bullets' résumé"Bullets are great but they need context. Keep them to one line, focused on a result and include a figure like a fact, percentage or number," says Adriana Llames, author of "Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game." "Or, put the information in a short summary of the position."

15. You've got a scattered strategy "Looking for a job in any industry and with two or three résumés is going to get the same result as the strategy: scattered," Llames says. "Job seekers with a clearly defined, focused and organized strategic approach to their job search end up with clear results -- and a new job."

16. You think it's about youIt is not about you and your need for a job -- it is about the prospective employer and their need to run a successful business and make money, says Lori B. Rassas, employment attorney and author of "Employment Law: A Guide to Hiring, Managing and Firing for Employers and Employees."

"Many applicants mistakenly believe they will be an appealing candidate if they explain they will accept any type of job offer at any because they have been laid off, unemployed for an extended period of time, have children in college, or are having difficulty making the mortgage payments," she says. "Even if all of those circumstances are true, candidates need to craft a different message, focusing on how they can benefit the employer by saving them money, streamlining processes, creating additional sources of revenue and bringing overall value to the company."