This post originally appeared on The Daily Muse.
The bad news: You’re probably doing a lot of things wrong in your job search.
The good news: You’re also likely doing several things right.
The bad news: Some of those things you’re doing right? You could actually be doing them much better.
The good news: We’re about to show you how.
1. Sleuthing Out Contacts Within a Company, but Being Too Forward With the Approach
I like the go-getter in you. You’re not going to just sit there and blindly apply for advertised positions online. No, sir. You’re going to find and endear yourself to people on the inside of companies of interest, to give yourself a leg up on the competition. All good. But not so good if you’re charging at strangers via LinkedIn or other channels like some kind of crazed bull. That’s not networking; that’s ambushing. And no one likes to feel ambushed.
Do It Better
Approach people in a way that you’d want to be approached by a stranger. I’m guessing that you’d be more than willing to chat with or help someone if he or she contacted you in a friendly, flattering, or helpful way before asking for anything from you, right? Be that stranger. Built rapport first before you ask for any big favors.
2. Updating Your LinkedIn Profile, But Alerting Everyone at Your Current Employer That You’re Looking
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile so that your keywords, brand, and tone align with your career goals is incredibly smart. But if you’re a covert job seeker, you can run into some serious snags (especially if your colleagues or boss are among your LinkedIn contacts) if you update several things on your profile without first turning off your activity broadcasts.
Do It Better
If you’re trying to fly under the radar with your search, before you update a single thing on your LinkedIn profile, head into your privacy settings. Within the privacy controls section, select “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” and uncheck the box that says “Let people know when you change your profile…” This will stop all announcements going out to your network, keeping you in the job-hunting clear.