Beware These 5 Easy-to-Make Job Search Mistakes

Easy to Make Job Search MistakesFrom time to time job seekers discuss with me the difficulties they face in finding a job, or getting interviews.

Most times I empathize with these individuals because the job search process can take a toll on anyone; people get into panic mode, and all rational thinking goes through the window.

And mistakes are made, like these:

Focus on a Lack of Experience

Do not spend your time focusing on being under-qualified. Instead, think about what you have to offer.

Acknowledge that you might lack the experience specified on the job description, and then start talking about why that doesn’t matter, and the solutions you bring to the company. Of course, back that up with concrete examples that demonstrate your point.

Being Over-Ambitious With Your Application

The company said only the top candidates would be contacted for an interview; no calls please. But you didn’t listen, and are now perceived as a stalker.

Follow the rules. Don’t contact them directly. Instead, build relationships with current employees willing to talk with you about the company, and the position. Ask them for specifics: contact details for the person responsible for hiring, major problems the company is facing, workplace culture and fit. Check out the company’s blog and online presence (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). Also, search for former employees who will be able to give you the inside scoop on the company. What’s being discussed? Who are the influencers?

You don’t need to be the first to apply for the job, or the most obnoxious. Take your time, and do the work necessary to become an employee referral (many companies offer incentives for internal referrals) rather than submitting a cold resume.

Waiting Too Long to Master Job Interview Skills

This the most crucial part of the job search! Don’t wait for the last minute on something as important as learning job interview skills… prepare now.

It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”

– Whitney Young

Review common interview questions they are likely to ask, such as ‘Tell me about yourself’, or ‘Why should we hire you?’ Practice with a friend, family member or a career or interview coach. Video yourself, and watch for nervous ticks or negative behaviors. Be prepared! “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” Whitney Young

Listening to Old-School Career Advice

Objective statements, “references available upon request”, resumes with old-school fonts and formatting sent to a company with a contemporary culture… all big mistakes in the 21st Century job search.

Learn everything you can about how to present yourself as a contemporary – and relevant – job seeker. Position each resume, cover letter and your LinkedIn profile to show that you are ready to so to work in the Social Age, and are not an Industrial Age relic.

Refusing to  Upload a Photo on Social Platforms

This is a huge mistake. Without a photo on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites, you are considered invisible by hiring managers and recruiters.

Get over your concerns for security, or maybe the lack of being photogenic. Be confident. Own who you are. Upload a photo!

And when you do, make sure it is professional, and does not include other people. As of today’s writing, I have 27 LinkedIn invitations waiting to be accepted, but they fall into the categories of: no photo, a group photo, or a sketchy profile. I am sure they are great people, but they are hiding something, and that bothers me.

Are you making any of these easy-to-make job search mistakes? Are there others you would add? Let me know in the comments below!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Musings!


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daisy wrightAbout the Author: Daisy Wright is an award winning certified resume strategist and career management coach known for helping mid-career professionals, managers and executives tell their career stories and get hired FASTER! She works collaboratively with clients to understand their needs and develop compelling resumes, LinkedIn Profiles, and other career marketing documents that differentiate them from everyone else. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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