7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Job Searching

June 3, 2016

One of the most important parts of a person’s “adulting” life is finding a job. No matter what it may be or how long it takes, there is a job for everyone. Depending on how you go about with your search, it can either make or break your potential employer prospects. To avoid a slump during the process, here are some mistakes you’re making that is hurting your chances.

Not tailoring your resume to the job

In times of desperation, it can be tempting to send the resume and cover letter to every position that seems like a good fit with your skills but should be avoided at all costs. Every job has different requirements and skills that are needed, so your application must reflect how your work experience and accomplishments are specific to what the employer is looking for. By dissecting the job description to look for keywords that can be included in your resume for the ATS (applicant tracking system) to recognize, it will give candidates a better chance of standing out from their competition and be noticed by recruiters who are filling the positions.


Although this is an obvious mistake, it’s one that many people tend to overlook and still make. A good way to not have typos is by having a pair of fresh eyes (family member, friend, colleague, etc) look over your resume. More often than not, other people can easily spot errors that are missed because they haven’t stared at the same piece of paper for hours on end.

Not following instructions

This is another easy mistake that can easily be avoided. Depending on what the job is, a listing may have special instructions (exercises, questions) that the company wants candidates to do in order to access their skills before possibly bringing them in for an interview. In other cases, it can be simply asking for a cover letter and references. No matter what it is, those instructions aren’t optional and not doing them will likely result in your application being tossed out.

Failing to follow-up

In basic Job Searching 101, it is an essential rule to always follow-up because of how critical it is to set you apart from other applicants. It can be as simple as sending quick email to say thank you for a recruiter’s time or make it extra special with a handwritten card. If you’re thinking about skipping out on following-up,  just think about everyone else who will and what kind of impression that you’ll have on the employer – not a good one, that’s certain.

Job searching without a plan.

When starting the job search, many people go head-on and go into an application frenzy without a plan in mind of what they want to accomplish or where they want to be. Because of this mindset, their search is not as focused as it should be and might not be as effective either if there is not a systematic way of approaching things. By having a plan on how to track progress, it lets candidates know what they should be doing each week and allows them to be much for proactive and productive with their time.

Not preparing well enough for interviews

As something that’s a well-known fact for job searching, preparing for interviews is a must. Doing extensive research on the company and knowing what they do is a good way to become a top choice for those who are in the running for an open role. Usually at the end of an interview, there is a Q&A session and it would not come off well to the interviewer if a candidate asks things about their company that can easily be found online with Google’s help. Setting aside a few minutes the night before an interview to do some research on the company can drastically impact the outcome of how it goes. A good rule of thumb is to really understand the company’s mission, values, and culture – anything else other than those three topics would blow the interviewer away and really impress them.

Social media can be your downfall

Nowadays with how fast the digital space is rapidly changing, many people are turning to social media platforms as their choice outlet for expressing themselves and their feelings. Although social media has become a great way to document one’s life, there are certain things that can be deemed as inappropriate when seen in the eyes of a recruiter and potential employers. Before applying to any job, it would be a wise decision to for job seekers to search their name on the internet to see what comes up then do a social cleanse to get rid of potentially harmful content.

VP of Marketing at Digital Astronauts

Ronny Cheng is one of the Co-Founder’s of Digital Astronauts and has helped drive lead generation in the software industry for organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. He helped build one of the first online software review websites, specializing in CRM, ERP, and HR software. He’s a nationally published author with extensive experience working with the HR/Recruiting industries largest brands. In his spare time, you can catch him on Instagram doing his best food blogger impersonation.


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