7 Proven ‘No Brainer’ Job Search Mistakes Job Seekers Make


7 Proven ‘No-Brainer’ Job Search Mistakes Too Many Jobseekers Make

Those jobseekers who do not read this article will very likely make one, or more, of the seven job search mistakes about to be mentioned in this missive, and it will cost them the job offers they were hoping to find.

Guess what… so will most of the people who do read this job search article make some of the same mistakes; mistakes that will usually cool any warmed interest by an employer-of-choice.

Why will both those who do-read and those who do-not-read this article have problems? Because the US Department of Labor reports (2008) that better than eighty-percent of jobseekers do not proof-read their resumes and other job search documents, once constructed.

Any subsequent grammatical or spelling or format related issues are, thereby, passed on to prospective employers. Because of that, the DOL confirms roughly seventy-three-percent of all job applicants are screened from the hiring process due to poor resume content.

There remains only some seven-percent, or so, of those job candidates with resume mistakes squeaking through to still be considered for job interviews.

But, wait a minute… we’re discussing a ‘seven-percent’ job applicant talent-pool who do not realize their resumes carry serious mistakes. Will those mistakes come to haunt them later in the job interview?

Advice to Job Seekers

Once you see the full list of offending mistakes you will understand why these most obvious of rookie mistakes are easy to miss, even for individuals who tend towards good management of details.

So my best advice to readers is the same advice I have for the job candidates I work with directly – check your job search skills against the list below, before you assume you have your own job search squared-away and well oiled for success.

As an Executive Search specialist, I have seen a great many more job candidates toppled from the hiring process directly due to the seven mistakes below, as I have seen top job offers generated by individuals determined not to make any of those same seven job search mistakes.

So, it’s not my intention to be harsh, or judgmental or condemning towards jobseekers’ abilities when I suggest they, as a whole, tend towards lapses of common-sense, as we all do from time-to-time. Try and mitigate fallout from such stumbles by heeding the observations below.


1. Arriving too late or way too early – No excuse will ever be good enough to explain such behavior. Save it.

2. Bringing someone with you – Anyone, for any reason, like children, or your mother, or a girl or boyfriend, or your lawyer, or accountant, or even a monkey – you read that right – a job applicant once brought a live monkey to a job interview, after the pet had received emergency treatment from a veterinarian and couldn’t be left alone; the monkey didn’t get the job either.

3. Mistakes on your resume and other hiring documents – Didn’t we cover this one above?

4. Forgot your resume – Or your job references, or your completed job application, or your job interview notes, etc.. What are you thinking? Is it in your other purse? Please don’t claim the dog ate it.

5. Poor attitude – Whatever the reason for any change in general good spirits – you just got robbed at gunpoint, a spat of bad news, your car was just towed or wrecked, just filed bankruptcy, divorce papers served on you, whatever – your sour demeanor will never brighten anyone’s day, and they will remember that about such job candidates.

5. Fibbing – About skills or experience, shame on you, and don’t use the ‘little-white-lie’ defense… ever. And expect that your shadowy escapades will be revealed – they always are, sooner or later. But worse than that, you’ll know the truth about yourself.

6. Failure to research – Job duties, required skills, specific workplace challenges the company hopes to manage by hiring for the job you want, the actual hiring process, and the person in authority to approve your job offer, etc. Otherwise, why bother to show up?

7. Failure to ask for the job – If it’s a job you really like and want… who wouldn’t ask for it, right? Believe it or not, a full third of job candidates fail to express decided interest in pursuing a specific job they interview for, and want; awaiting the employer to take the lead in what happens next, or sometimes initiating some sort of cagey strategy of non-committal-ness till the candidate learns more about the job.

Some of my employer clients have strict requirements about not hiring any applicant who cannot summon the wit to ask for a job. How hard is to say: “I like what I hear, how do we put this together?”

Or words to that affect. I think for most who miss their opportunity to ‘ask for the job,’ it has to do with not realizing the employer’s expectations of pursuit; or, in some cases, the job candidate simply not knowing exactly what words to use, and before they can muster the phrasing to state their interest in the job, the job interview is over.

Final Note:

While the seven job search mistakes reviewed in this article represent common, yet serious, issues job applicants should consider as they seek new employment, there are others.

But start here, with this list. Mistake-check your expected job hunt results by comparing your efforts against the egregious list of ‘NO-BRAINER’ job search mistakes offered herein.

And the best of luck to you in your job search.

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