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5 Job Search Mistakes You Don’t Even Realize You’re Making

5 Job Search Mistakes You Don’t Even Realize You’re Making

Job Seeker Tips / July 9, 2020

Searching for the right job is no easy task. There’s a lot to consider and many tasks to juggle. You may think you’re doing everything right, but if you’re still unemployed after several months, you’re doing something wrong. But if you keep a lookout for those mistakes, you can avoid them. Here are five job search mistakes you’re making without even realizing it. 

1. Applying to too many openings

Many people think the more jobs they apply to, the better their odds are of landing a job. But that’s not always the case. Instead, only apply to the ones you really want. Know what title you aspire to have, what tasks you’re interested in, and any other benefits or perks you want. In other words, don’t apply to anything and everything under the sun. Limit your applications to jobs you’re genuinely interested in and relatively qualified for, so you’re more likely to interview well and land a job.

2. Applying too hastily5 Job Search Mistakes You Don’t Even Realize You’re Making

Don’t prioritize speed or immediacy. The first wave of applications are often sloppy and incomplete. Instead of trying to win a race, take your time. Turn in a polished resume, gather the best references, and make sure each section of the application is completed to near perfection. Spend some time researching the company, so you know how to craft the best resume and cover letter. And don’t even bother applying if something turns you off about the company or the role itself.                 

3. Sending your resume to a contact

Slipping your resume to a friend, family member, or acquaintance is fine if they’ve asked for it or encouraged you to apply. Otherwise, don’t send anyone your resume out of the blue. Instead, take some time to look up their job openings and see if there are any good matches for your interests and qualifications. If there are, apply through the normal channels and ask your contact for advice. If they offer to nudge your resume along or put in a good word on your behalf, great, but don’t force the matter.

4. Applying when you’re not qualified

Of course you should aim high and apply to your dream job, but be reasonable. Sure, passion and hard work makes up for a lack of experience—to a point. If you consistently shoot for the stars before you’re ready, hiring managers will probably ignore you. But if you aspire to jobs that you’re mostly qualified for, you have a much greater chance of hearing back. Then it’s up to you to use your charisma and references to stand out from more qualified candidates.

5. Neglecting the follow-up5 Job Search Mistakes You Don’t Even Realize You’re Making

This is so simple, but so important. Be persistent and follow up. Whether it’s a phone call, an email to check in, or a last bit of paperwork to complete your application, you probably won’t rise to the top of the pile without some additional work on your part. Don’t let your application die because of something simple that you neglected to do. Impress them with your determination and tenacity.


For more advice on streamlining your job search so you land a great opportunity to advance your career, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh