6 Mistakes and Mindsets Killing Your Job Search

Getting In Your Own WayEveryone knows: the job search can be a stressful time marked by hopeful ups and defeating downs. You get excited about new leads, then suffer disappointment when it doesn’t work out.

Everyone also knows: This is normal.

During your job search, however, we tend to forget just how normal this is. And we often become our own worst enemy. We refuse to accept this normalcy; instead, we take it personally. Without even knowing it, we build mindsets and make mistakes that kill our chances of success. 

Here are some of the most common mistakes made by long-term job seekers… learn to recognize them, so you can avoid them!

Research Fails 

Many candidates believe they have properly prepared for their interview. However, the biggest complaint by employers about job seekers: they are unprepared. Far too often, the job seeker fails to research the needs and history of the company. Even more important, they fail to align what they bring to the company’s needs and culture. Consequently, they flounder in the interview. Over time, they erode self-confidence.

Talking Down Accomplishments

During the interview, many candidates seeking to appear humble often talk down their own accomplishments. They talk too much about “we” and “the team” instead of “me” and “my.” They fail to quantify their impact as a direct contributor. In the end, they making it seem like they really didn’t do anything in their past employment. Instead of being impressed, the employer assumes you are not directly responsible for success.

Going It Alone

Often job seekers feel they must pursue their next job alone, like a lonely hunter in the night. The truth is, you can get a lot of valuable information and learn something from others in your industry, in the position you seek, and even with other job seekers. Seek out the help of recruiters, similar positioned colleagues and job search experts, but don’t rely on them as your only source for new opportunities. Ultimately, going lone wolf during a job search isn’t just a big mistake… it is lonely.

Begrudging Attitude

No one likes searching for a new job. But in the end it all comes down to one thing: a positive attitude. Approaching it with a bad attitude will only result in poor quality work, a lack of preparedness, and less-than-likable demeanor. Stay up. Surround yourself with positive influences. Otherwise, you’ll be seen as negative. And no one hires those guys.

One-Size-Fits-All Resume and Cover Letter

One of the biggest mistakes a job seeker can make in today’s digital world: sending the same cover letter and resume to many different companies (or to the same company for many different positions). If you are truly interested in a position, you should do your homework and tailor both your resume and cover letter specifically for that position. Employers know that. Employers expect that.

Negative Head Trash

Eventually, real bitterness can set in. We begin assuming all setbacks are because you’re not a desirable candidate. You may start to believe you are simply not employable. After a while, this feeling becomes a huge emotional and mental drain… and the root cause of stalled job search. It is important to realize ALL job seekers have positives and negative aspects of the search and it is normal. It does not mean you suck. It just means you need to work harder to find the right fit, for you.

Emotional Roadblocks

For many recent grads and young professionals, emotional roadblocks come into play. You don’t believe you are worthy or are capable of that next big step. On the surface, you’re happily seeking that next big career advancement; on the inside, though, you don’t think you’re ready (even if you really are). This causes you to appear less confident during an interview, and may show the employer you’re not willing to take the risks you need to take to get where you want to go. 

When you are job seeking, remember to look at your actions in an objective manner. Really look inside yourself and ask yourself:

“Why am I having a hard time? Why am I not finding the type of job you want?”

When answering these questions, you may discover that it isn’t because you aren’t capable or qualified to find a job you love… but that you have become your own worst enemy creating unnecessary resistance in your job search. When that happens (and it will happen), don’t be too hard on yourself. 

Pick yourself up. Recognize the mistakes your making, and correct them. You will soon not only nail the process every step of the way, you’ll find the perfect job for you!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes!


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Lisa RangelAbout the Author: Lisa Rangel, founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, has helped hundreds land the exact job they wanted. A former recruiter, she is a 7-time certified resume writer, job search consultant, and one of the few resume writers performing resume and job search-related work for LinkedIn. Lisa has been featured on Forbes, LinkedIn, Investors Business Daily, and many more publications. Follow Lisa on Twitter!



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