Are You Making These Common Job Search Mistakes?

By Christy Eichelberger

If your job search is taking longer than expected, or you haven't been getting the results you had hoped for, it might be time to take a step back and look at what you could be doing wrong. Even if you have plenty of job search experience, it's easy to get caught up in the process and lose sight of the small things that end up making a big difference in determining whether or not you will be successful in getting hired.

Here are a few things to think about as you navigate your way through the job search process. You could be hurting your chances of getting hired if:

  • You don't customize your cover letter and resume for each position you apply for. You can't send out one cover letter and resume and expect it to work for every job you apply to. If you're not hearing back from employers, make sure your cover letter and resume are speaking directly to each company you apply to and the specific position they need to fill.
  • You don't have an open mind. While being picky about the jobs you apply for can be a good thing (you certainly shouldn't be applying for every job opening you see), it could work against you if you're not being open minded enough. Reconsider the types of jobs that you've been passing over and decide if you're actually missing out on something that could be a good opportunity.
  • You put all your eggs in one basket. Don't completely stop your job search just because you applied for a job that you really want. There's no guarantee that you'll get it, so in the meantime, keep looking and applying to other openings you find. This will give you a greater chance of being hired in the least amount of time.
  • You come across as being disorganized. Is your resume confusing and not logically formatted? Did you show up to your interview a few minutes late, and not looking well put together? Did you forget to research the company ahead of time so you could ask questions and show that you were prepared? If so, you may be coming across as being disorganized and not serious about the job.
  • You don't pay attention to what the employer needs/wants. Research the company ahead of time and pay close attention to the details in the job posting. Figure out why the role you're applying for is important and how it impacts the company. Remember that the job search isn't one-sided- it's not all about you getting a job. It's about you being able to provide the employer with the skills and experience they need. Take their needs into account and show how you can help them if you're hired.

There are many factors that can affect the success of your job search. If you're having trouble, take a closer look at the small things that could be adding up to big problems in your search. Improving any of these factors could improve your chances of being hired.