Being in the “unemployed” department for long can make one anxious and insecure. As more and more days go by with you out of the workforce while people keep probing you about your job search, you tend to become desperate for a good employment. However, “just another job” may not be the best choice!

People make countless mistakes during their job search process which costs them a lot of time, efforts, and even money. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make that should be avoided:

1. Settling for something too low:

You may be really eager to find your next new job, but don’t just go for anything! Settling for a job that is not worth your qualifications is unwise. Don’t be racing with your fellow grads in the “who can find a job first” race. It’s not worth it! Learn to persevere until you can find the perfect fit.

2. Setting the bar too high:

While you shouldn’t go for any job that is not “good enough” for you. You shouldn’t keep trying to apply for one that you are not –in plain words — good enough for. Now, I don’t mean to sound cruel and callous. The point is that you shouldn’t apply for a job that requires a lot more experience and qualifications than you can offer. Try to match your skills and experience with something that makes more sense. Setting the bar too high will only leave you disappointed with every rejection, in addition to wasting a considerable amount of your time and energy.

3. Looking for job openings – only:

Doing a bit of online research and looking for job postings is necessary, but it is not the only method that should be used for your job search. The best jobs are sometimes not even on the list of “vacancies”. Where do they go? Well, sometimes the employer isn’t even thinking about a vacancy until you apply. Many applicants just apply and if they have what the organization needs, and when they need it, they’re in!

4. Not using your networks:

A Right Management survey that analyzed over 59,000 employees in 2010 concluded that 41% of the sample said they landed a job through networking. This was the highest weightage among all other methods (online job boards, direct approach, ads, etc). Whether you like it or not, word of mouth is still the most effective marketing technique. That means you have to have a long list of people you know well enough to refer you to their company. Talk to anyone you meet everyday who could willing to help you out (i.e. parent’s friends, relatives, friends, church members, etc). Spread the word about you searching for a job in the particular industry you are interested in.

5. Being careless:

Being sloppy when it comes to your documents is un-professional. Make sure you have your resume, as well as cover letter, set and ready to be delivered. Using inappropriate language or spelling mistakes will render your resume useless (and probably get thrown away in the garbage). The biggest mistake applicants make while searching for jobs is not ensuring that their resume is error-free. Employers prefer the standard resume and cover letter format with appropriate information. Trying to be cute or funny might make you stand out from the rest, but it won’t necessarily leave a good impression on the interviewer.

6. One-size-fits-all documents:

It may have worked in the past, but it doesn’t work anymore. Contemporary hiring involves careful analysis and hiring a person who is just the right fit for the job. This means you have to show each and every employer that you are the right fit.

How do you do that? By coming up with targeted resumes. Don’t just send everyone the same resume you made last month. Tailor your resume according to the organization and job requirements. Omit any information that is useless or irrelevant to the job at hand. For example, while applying to an ad agency for a designing job, you definitely want to include “creativity” as a skill. On the other hand, skills such as “excellent communication” or “people person” are better left for a sales job resume.

7. Not acting professionally:

Employers may understand that you are a newbie with no experience yet, but what they won’t understand is why after such an extensive education you still haven’t learned to behave or act in a professional manner. Or, even if you don’t have an extensive education, the current situation you are in, demands a high level of maturity and professionalism.

Professionalism includes everything from the way you behave at your interview, the vocabulary you use in your documents, the way you dress, and even the email addresses you use. An email address such as, coolbabenancy@– is utterly unimpressive. Career advisors also warn against uploading silly pictures on LinkedIn and making them public. Chances are, a prospective employer will go through your profile for background information, and find something that questions you maturity and professionalism.

8. Not preparing for the interview:

It doesn’t end with just getting shortlisted. The interview should be given just as much, if not more, importance than the application. Be well prepared for the interview once you get the call. Learn about the company, talk to previous employees, write down answers to possible questions, and rehearse. Extensive research may be required to learn about the company, what they may ask, and who your interviewers may be.

9. Not having an online presence:

The digital era and much of Googling has brought about an increase in pretty much everything done – online. Expect your employers to look for you online as well as other candidates who have applied for the job. Having an impressive LinkedIn profile, blogs, or useful twitter accounts will weigh heavy against other candidates who may not have all or any of those. It will also be a great way to highlight your skills (i.e. website building, other qualifications, etc).

10. Having a negative attitude:

Job searches can be very discouraging at times, but having a negative attitude will not get you anywhere. You’re not in your school years anymore, but you have become a full-fledged adult, right? So, quit whining and complaining! Having that same negative attitude in your interview will also be hazardous because no one likes an immature adult who complains about everything. Maybe you had an awful ex-boss who fired you for no reason. Life’s tough and we have to deal with it ourselves. Try to keep this kind of information to yourself, or just your close friends and family. Your interviewer won’t be impressed when you say a mean thing or two about your ex-boss, because he’ll assume you’ll do the same in future – when it comes to them.

Being smart, using the right tactics, and avoiding the mistakes above the best way to deal with the dreaded “job search” phase. Just remember to keep a positive attitude throughout. Eventually, you will land a career that is both appropriate and fulfilling.

Author: Madeleine is an academic consultant and an author who mostly writes on education, leadership and social sharing posts. She helps students who feel difficulty in choosing the right field in university and help students regarding their essays at Find her on Facebook to get consultancy.

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