Frustrated job seeker tries to figure out where he went wrong in the job search process.

In a job market where there are plenty of applicants, it only takes one mistake to ruin your chances. As a job seeker, you need to know what the common mistakes are and work to avoid them so you lead a successful job search, impress managers with your resume, and make a positive mark at the job interview.


Job Search Mistakes

Job seeker views openings through various job board websites.
  • Rely solely on job boards for opportunities — it has the least effectiveness rate when compared with using recruiters and networking through contacts.
  • No online presence — employers and recruiters scour for talent on LinkedIn, so if you're not there and not optimized for the right keywords, you're missing out.
  • Ineffective networking – most people think that networking is telling your contacts that you are looking for a job and giving them your resume. This is not effective as you've just lost control of your job search because you're waiting on others to respond rather than being proactive in your pursuit.

Resume Mistakes

Young professional updates her resume.
  • Lack of a good profile summary – it needs to speak to "Here's what I can do for you."
  • Irrelevant information – if it doesn't apply to the job or the employer, it brings no value to your resume.
  • Not applying relevant keywords – hiring managers and the Applicant Tracking System look for keywords that indicate a match with what they are looking for before taking more time to review the resume.
  • List of responsibilities instead of accomplishments and success achieved – employers want to know how well you performed on the job.

Interview Mistakes

Job seekers shakes hands with human resources associate during a job interview.
  • Late arrival – if you know you'll be running late at least call to apologize and offer an update on your expected arrival time.
  • Lack of rapport – people hire people they like and feel comfortable around.
  • Not asking questions – demonstrate that you are truly interested in the opportunity.
  • Negative talk about your current or previous employer – this is not considered professional and employers do not want people who have had conflicts in their past jobs.
  • Unprepared and unfamiliar with the company – do your research and understand the employer's business.
  • Poor body language – it can speak louder than your words


All these mistakes are avoidable, so carefully review and properly plan and prepare your job search, resume, and interview techniques for the best results!

Needs some additional assistance with the job search process? Work It Daily can help!

Join our career growth club today and have access to one-on-one coaching and tutorials that can help you in every step of your job search.

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Lynn Holland's go-to-market steps

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