Your Job Search: Don't Make These 13 Mistakes

Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

Are you in the middle of a career change or job search? You need to have the right skills and training.  You also need to avoid these 13 mistakes if you hope to find a job you’ll love in the career you deserve:

1.       Don’t have a plan: How can you possibly find that dream job if you don’t know what you want? Put a realistic plan in place with action points you can check off as you accomplish each and every one of them.

2.       Go at it alone: It takes a village to find a job! More accurately, it takes a wide network of family, friends, coworkers, and LinkedIn contacts. Craft yourself a business card and pass them out at every job fair, networking event, and party you attend. The more people on your team, the better your chance of success.

3.       Use a one size fits all resume: Don’t assume one resume will work for every job opportunity because it won’t! Whether you pursue a business career or one in healthcare, not all jobs—or companies—are alike, so don’t treat them as if they were. Use our resume tips that will help you land the interview.

4.       Do the same for your cover letter: If you agree it’s important to customize your resume, it’s even more so for those cover letters. Each and every one needs to be directed to a unique individual and speak to the specific job and your qualifications for it.

5.       Have typos and grammar errors: It sounds like a no-brainer, but can you believe that 58% of resumes have typos? What are those job candidates thinking? Don’t be like them. Make certain your resume has absolutely no errors. Remember number 2? Have someone from your success team look it over with a critical eye.

6.       Have an unedited online presence: More than half of employers responding to a Career Builder survey said that they discovered something online that made them decide not to hire a job candidate. Make certain that everything you put out on social media is something a hiring manager would like to see –and hire.

7.       Lie about your abilities and accomplishments: Whether it’s on your resume, online, or something you say in an interview, whatever you say needs to be the truth. Don’t overstate what you’ve done or what you can do. You’ll be found out and it won’t go well for you or your employer.

8.       Conduct no company research: You’ve heard it a hundred times: don’t go into an interview unprepared. Do your research. But it’s important that your research begin long before the interview. See #9.

9.       Choose the wrong job: If you don’t conduct enough research, you could apply to a position for which you’re not qualified or overqualified. You’ll waste your time and effort, and the hiring manager’s.

10.   Show up late/early to the interview: It’s important to be punctual for your interview. Arrive early and wait in the parking lot, going over your resume and notes. But did you know it’s almost as important not to show up too early? Hiring managers are busy people and if they have you on their schedule for 9:00 AM, they’re not going to want to see you at 8:30.

11.   Talk too much/too little: An interview is a sales pitch for your qualifications for a particular position. You need to give enough information to the interviewer so they know who you are, what your education and training is like, and what experience you have. Tell them what they need to know as concisely as you can. Talk enough, but not too much, and be sure to listen to what they have to say. An interview is a two-way street. They need to decide if they want you, but you also get to decide if you want them.

12.   Forget to say thank you: Common courtesy means you thank the person interviewing you for their time and follow up with an email thank you or hand written note. Make certain they know you appreciate even the opportunity to sit for an interview.

13.   Don’t ask for the job: A common mistake job candidates make is that they don’t express enough interest in the job. If you want the position, you’ve got to ask for it!

At Career Quest Learning Centers, we don’t just train you for a new career; we also teach you all about how to prepare your professional portfolio and conduct an effective job search. Want to learn more about our programs in business, healthcare, information technology, and paralegal studies? Give us a call at our campus in Lansing at 877-481-4930 or Jackson at 877-365-8144.


“Coming here after I was laid off at my job actually gave me an appetite for more education.” 


"I thought, why not go back to school and be able to help a family, give them that comfort that I received?"