41 Mistakes that Job Seekers Make which Kill Their Career Prospects and Sabotage Their Job Search

Struggling with your job search? Not seeing results that you want, but not sure why? Review this list and if you 10 or more of these reasons resonate with you, then we need to chat about what you can fix to get results (you can sign up for a call on the right):

(1) Go into a new field without major research
(2) Send the same thank you note to all interviewers
(3) Think they have to have 100% clarity as to what they want before they start to look
(4) Only submit to job postings and never reach out to people at companies directly
(5) Assume the tactics that worked for their job search three years ago will work for them now
(6) Pursue the search alone and do not seek out support groups or professional assistance
(7) Immediately assume they are not getting an interview because the are (insert old, young, female, male, of a certain race, not ethnic enough, short, tall, skinny, fat, etc) and not focus on the tactics they can control to improve the presentation of their skill set and overall candidacy.
(8) Expect recruiters to know for which job they would be best suited
(9) Talk down or inflate their accomplishments when selling themselves in an interview
(10) Email the same cover letter to all positions to which they apply
(11) Only read a company’s website when preparing for an interview and fail to research the interviewer, the job or the firm’s competitors
(12) Flounder answering interview questions because they did not research themselves to speak effectively about their background in detail on an interview
(13) Use an ill-focused resume to communicate their skill set and then get flustered when hiring managers do not call them for an interview
(14) Figure they are bulletproof at their job
(15) Be resistant to change and unwilling to try new things to help themselves
(16) Follow-up too often in a too pushy manner
(17) Do not follow up enough and doing so in a manner lacking confidence
(18) Use the same mainstream, ineffective tools to find a job and get frustrated why it is not yielding superior results
(19) Research job leads WAY TOO MUCH and send out an inadequate amount of outbound communications to move your job search forward
(20) Have their resume depend on their cover letter to outline to a recruiter what position they are seeking (what if it is separated or never read?)
(21) Creating a cover letter that is a prose version of their resume and failing to demonstrate how they can add value to a firm or solve a main problem if hired
(22) Remain behind the computer and never interacting with people personally or over the phone
(23) Use napkins or scraps of paper to give contacts your contact info—get a business card!
(24) Rarely use Linkedin to find prospects or did not set up a robust LinkedIn profile to help recruiters to find them
(25) Get too caught up in privacy issues which make it difficult for employers to find them and their credentials online—and then wonder why no one calls them
(26) Have others proofread their resume and cover letter for typos and grammar errors
(27) Use too formal or too casual language in electronic and verbal communications
(28) Dress inappropriately for the interview and failing to factor in the corporate culture when assembling the interview attire
(29) Fail to bring copies of their resume and references to the interview
(30) Speak in generalities and do not use specifics when speaking about accomplishments
(31) Cite job description-type bullets on their resume and do not use achievement-based language to construct the employment sections of the resume
(32) Ask for too much in compensation trying to make up for pay cuts they had/chose to take
(33) Ask for too little in compensation—it can convey lack of confidence in abilities
(34) Approach the entire job search process with a sense of entitlement, depressive-state or overall piss poor attitude
(35) Fail to embrace the major prominence of social media tools and their effectiveness in a successful job search
(36) Have poor or incongruent representation of themselves on Facebook or Twitter and other personal-focused social media outlets
(37) Include information on a resume, in an interview or on an application about political, religious or controversial social issue leadership or volunteer activities
(38) Follow an unhealthy lifestyle that can affect their physical energy and mental well-being. Job searches are an athletic event, in my opinion, and job seekers need to be in good shape!
(39) Miss the boat on contributing to industry-focused blogs and embracing niche social communities to advance their search and increase their contact base
(40) Surround themselves with negative-minded people that contribute to a defeatist attitude. Surround yourself with winners and positive-minded people!
(41) Lose hope

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

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