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18 Job Search Mistakes That Are Costing You Your Dream Job - #6 Will Surprise You!

18 Job Search Mistakes That Are Costing You Your Dream Job

Have you been looking for a job for a long time? Have you submitted a lot of resumes and attended interviews only to end up with nothing? 

Finding the best and right job and career can be tough. Job search can also be sneaky if you don’t know what you are doing. And rejections can put a weight on your shoulders. If you’ve been looking for a job for a long time and still have no good results, there must be something wrong that you need to check. 

A lot of people are searching for jobs not knowing the best practices for job application and job interviews. They are so focused on submitting resumes everywhere that they don’t notice they are making these major job search mistakes that are costing them their dream job. 

So if you are looking for a job right now or for a long time and feel like the odds are not in your favor, then check out these job search mistakes that you might be making.


1. Using a Generic Resume

Writing a resume can be time-consuming and tough. That is why most job hunters create one resume and send it to every job application they can find. But a one-size-fits-all resume won’t make you stand out. Tailoring your resume to highlight skills and experiences relevant to each job you are applying for shows that you’re serious about the position and understand what it requires. 

Plus, a lot of recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS) where they filter out employees based on specific keywords. With this, you may want to tailor your resume based on the job you are applying for and optimize it with the right keywords included in the job descriptions. For example, you found an Admin Support Specialist job ad for an outsourcing company in the Philippines. You need to include keywords such as administrative, office support, and tools that are commonly used in the role. This can increase your chances for an interview as you will be shortlisted once the ATS tracks that your resume has the right keyword that matches the job role. 


2. Lack of networking

Relying solely on online job portals can limit your opportunities. That is why it is good to expand your network by connecting with other people. This can be your friends, old colleagues, classmates, bosses, among others. You can also network with other people that are beyond your current circle or people in your field, attend industry events, and engage on platforms like LinkedIn to expand your reach.

Networking with other people allows you to discover hidden job opportunities and gain insights from industry professionals.


3. Poorly Written Cover Letters

Creating a cover letter can be a bit bothersome. But it is critical in getting the job. Thus, don’t just create cover letters for the sake of creating one. You need to personalize your application and explain why you’re a great fit for the role. 

Generic cover letters or ones with errors suggest a lack of effort or attention to detail. Write a unique cover letter for each application, focusing on what you bring to the table and why you’re interested in the company.


4. Not Following Instructions

Employers often provide specific instructions for applying, such as format, document type, or additional information. Ignoring these instructions can indicate that you don’t pay attention to details or follow directions, which are crucial in most jobs.

Thus, when applying, learn how to read the whole application requirements and process to ensure that you are not missing anything and that you are on the right path. 


5. Applying for Irrelevant Roles

If you’ve been job searching for a long time, it is really tempting to apply for other roles just to expand opportunities. But applying for jobs that don’t match your skills or experience can make it seem like you’re desperate or lack focus. Ensure your application aligns with the job’s requirements, and don’t waste your time or the employer’s by applying to roles for which you’re not qualified.

Focus on your skills and keep searching for opportunities that match your capabilities. Applying for irrelevant roles will only lead to wasted time and effort on your and the recruiters’ part. 


6. Neglecting Online Presence

In this digital age, employers often research candidates online before interviews. They often check your LinkedIn and other social media accounts to see what kind of candidate you are and what employee you would be once hired. This will help them set expectations during job interviews and the whole hiring process. 

Thus, an unprofessional online presence or lack of activity on platforms like LinkedIn can be a red flag. 

If you are on a job search, make sure to spend time building your online presence, especially on LinkedIn. Make sure that your profile is up-to-date, professional, and consistent with your resume. It is also good to create your own branding to impress recruiters and create retention. 


7. Lack of Interview Preparation

Another mistake that job hunters often make is going into an interview without researching the company, its culture, and knowledge of common interview questions. This lack of preparation can lead to poor performance. And poor performance will cost you the job. 

To avoid this, it is highly recommended to prepare by practicing common interview questions, knowing the company you are applying for, and having questions to ask the interviewer. Preparing some questions for the interviewer or recruiter means that you are eager to know more about the company and how you can be an asset to them. 


8. Not Sending Thank-You Notes

Sending Thank-You notes is not that popular with some job hunters and applicants. Most of the time, after the interview, they wait for the recruiter to follow up and if they don’t hear from them for a long time, they move on with their other job applications. 

But sending a Thank-You note is a game changer that can increase your chances of getting the job. It demonstrates appreciation and interest in the position plus it is like a gentle follow-up on the recruiter should they have forgotten about your application. Remember, they must have been dealing with hundreds of applications per day a little thank-you note can give them something to smile about. 


9. Ignoring keywords

As mentioned, some recruiters use ATS to filter thousands of applications. This helps them to know which candidate is best fit for the role. Thus, if your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords from the job description, it might be automatically rejected. With this, ensure your resume reflects the skills and experiences mentioned in the job posting.


10. Overemphasis on Salary

Another common mistake that job applicants make that they are not aware of is overemphasizing salary. Bringing up salary too early in the interview process or focusing too much on compensation can suggest you’re more interested in money than the role or company. Discuss salary at the appropriate time and consider other aspects of the job, like culture and growth opportunities. Or you can wait for the recruiter to ask your expected salary before preempting them on what you are expected to receive. 


11. Inconsistent Employment History

Gaps in employment or inconsistencies can raise concerns about your reliability or commitment. Thus you need to be prepared once the interviewer asks you about it. Address any gaps or inconsistencies in a positive light,  focusing on what you learned or accomplished during those periods.


12. Too Many Applications at Once

Job hunting can put a lot of pressure on you. But this does not mean that you will apply to every job application you see. Applying to a large number of jobs without tailoring your applications can lead to reduced quality and a lack of focus. It’s better to apply to fewer jobs and put more effort into customizing your resume and cover letter. This strategy can improve your chances of landing the job that you really want and is fit for you. 


13. Neglecting Soft Skills

Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving, among others, are a great addition to your resume. Most employers often value these skills together with technical skills. 

Focusing solely on technical skills can give the impression that you lack interpersonal skills. Thus, make sure to highlight these soft skills and abilities in your resume and during interviews to increase your chances of getting hired. 


14. Lack of Enthusiasm

Employers want to hire candidates who are enthusiastic and passionate about the role and company. A lack of enthusiasm during interviews or in communication can make you seem disinterested. Thus, it is important to show your excitement by asking questions and demonstrating your knowledge of the company.


15. Not Updating Resume

Using an outdated resume without recent experience or skills can make you seem out of touch. It can also lead to misunderstandings and messy job interviews. With this, it is important to regularly update your resume to reflect your latest achievements and skills relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.


16. Overly Casual Communication

Job interviews, whether it is face-to-face, via email, mobile, or video calls, are always considered professional. Thus, you need to maintain a professional tone in all communication, even if the company has a relaxed culture. It is also important to avoid slang, informal language, or overly casual behavior.


17. Rushing the Process

When you are on a job hunt, you are eager to get hired. However, applying for a job without thorough research or not considering your own career goals can lead to poor job matches. You may get hired but you might not be able to stay for long and might leave later on. Thus, it is important to take the time to understand the company, its culture, and whether it aligns with your career aspirations.

18. Skipping Background Checks

Another common mistake that applicants are not aware that they are doing is avoiding background checks or refusing to provide references. This can raise concerns about your integrity or past behavior. Be open to these checks and provide accurate information when asked.


These are just some of the common mistakes that some job hunters are not aware of making. By being aware of these mistakes and taking steps to avoid them, you can increase your chances of a successful job search and find the right role for you.

If you are looking for a great career, make sure to follow us on social media for updates, and check out our job listings on our website


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