Job Seekers Mistakes

7 Mistakes Job Seekers Make


Are you in the process of searching for a new job but can’t seem to get the callbacks you want?

It may be you’re making some common yet avoidable mistakes along the way. Don’t continue your job searching without being sure. Take a look at the following seven mistakes job seekers make:

1. The Aimless Search

If you’re sending out resumes without knowing what your ideal job is, you’re wasting your valuable time. So, before shipping off another application, be sure to sit down and define what type of job you’re looking for. This way, you’ll have a more focused search and can create a goal-oriented resume to match.

2. Bad Interviewing Habits

Do you have bad interviewing habits? In other words, do you assume you’re on a first-name basis with interviewers? Or do you slouch in your seat? If so, be sure to learn about appropriate body language and ways to address interviews so that you can always come across as a confident candidate with plenty to offer.

3. Bad-Mouthing A Previous Employer

Many interviewees get stuck with the question, “Why did you leave your previous employer?” While you may want to say that your previous boss was a jerk, this is not the time or place to mention it. So if you’re asked this question, just say you were looking for new opportunities to broaden your horizon.

4. Not Attending Job Fairs

While job fairs may feel like impersonal functions for individuals who are desperate for work, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, some great networking opportunities can be found at job fairs, not just with company representatives but other job fair attendees.

5. Wearing Unprofessional Attire

When interviewing, company representatives are watching your every move, including how you’re dressed. If your attire is too casual, sexy, or plain outrageous, your amazing resume or interviewing skills may do little to get you hired.

6. Forgetting To Follow Up

Another mistake to avoid is not following up with an employer after your interview. To make sure you remain on the employer’s mind, send a follow-up e-mail of about three or four paragraphs that summarizes your skills, reiterates your eagerness to be hired, and thanks the entire staff for their time.

7. Sending An Ultra-Long Resume

Although your professional history may be so amazing that you want to share every piece of it, it’s important that you avoid creating a resume that stretches out too long. By focusing on related positions and highlighting the top moments in your career, you can easily reduce your resume to two or three pages.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to make mistakes when conducting your job search. The good news is that mistakes are avoidable if you are aware of them and make a determined effort to sidestep them at all costs.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter.


  1. Jessica,

    These are all excellent issues related to job search and interviewing mistakes. Our experience in coaching managerial and executive job search candidates is that the greatest mistake is not conducting an effective job search. This is different from the aimless job search category. NOT conducting an effective job search of leveraging networking on-line and off-line, the communication strategy, a targeting campaign of putting on a “full court press” for a particular company or role, and not having the “right” tools/documents to advance your candidacy beyond the traditional resume.

    FAILURE to conduct an effective job search means you never get to the table to be considered – it’s step on of finding a great job since the vast majority of great jobs are never advertised – their filled through personal networks. Since most candidates conduct an ineffective job search – all they see are the 20 percent of jobs that companies are advertising which frequently fall into the boring, mundane, and average category. In addition, it’s very difficult to advance yourself through responding to ads, when over 300 other equally qualified candidates submit their resumes. Using job postings as the core element of your job search is a terrible approach to finding a job since it’s primarily based on luck and hope.

    Barry Deutsch
    IMPACT Hiring Solutions

  2. Item #1 on this list–not knowing what you’re looking for–supercedes all other mistakes on this list. Why is that? Because you can’t make interview mistakes and you can’t forget to follow up if you never get a call-back in the first place! And that’s what happens when your job search is unfocussed. Even though it’s scary to send out fewer applications, the name of the game is quality–not quantity. A sharp recruiter knows within seconds whether or not you genuinely want the job you’re applying to. If you “mean it,” your interest in and knowledge of your industry and target company shine through your resume and cover letter. If you don’t mean it, your application probably looks and smells (well, stinks) like so many others.

  3. You left off the one most important thing Network Network Network your way into each company you apply to. Also you forgot about researching the company and the position.

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