It takes time to mount an effective job search, but it only takes a moment to kill one.
1. Bemoaning a long, demanding job search
Even if you have been on the market for a long time, find any way to make your efforts seem positive, as though you took the time off by choice. Make it appear as if you have enjoyed your time networking with various contacts.
2. Getting impatient with the process
Understand that the hiring decisions can drag on for weeks, if not months. Pestering your contacts frequently, by either phone or email, will not speed up the process and only hurt your chances.
3. Only answering ads and sending out blind resumes
This is probably the number one most devastating job search mistake. Blind applications will not get the job, but through networking with those people they know.
4. Giving out references that don’t sing your praises
References should be strong and supportive, not filled with faint praise. Ask if the person is willing to say you are the best thing ever. If not, find someone else as a reference.
5. Formatting a resume in a minuscule font
A resume does not have to be one page, especially if it is a single, illegible page. Minimize the word count or consider a second page.
6. Failing to declare gleaming things about previous employers
Even if you left your last job unwillingly — through lay-offs, for example — find a way to say positive things about your former employer. Hiring managers associate with your former boss, not necessarily with you.
7. Saying negative things about yourself
Even though they begin with the best intentions, startups can fail. It is not the end of the world. If your job search is because of a failed venture, do whatever you can to provide a positive spin on your involvement.
8. Talking too much in the beginning of an interview
The key is to start with your “elevator pitch,” a 30-second summary of your exploits, but then you should immediately begin questioning and listening position, taking the hint from the interviewer to answer.
9. Not being honest about your strengths and weaknesses
The language of job interviews is about honesty. Talk about overcoming challenges, but emphasize the effort rather than the problem you had to solve.
10. Talking about money too soon
Frequently, a nervous candidate will bring up salary in the first interview. This is the wrong way to go about it. If asked about salary requirements, it is reasonable to say, “Money is important, but at this point of my career the right fit is the most important thing.” Avoid being the first to mention money.
What are some of the other ways to kill an otherwise promising job search? We would love to hear them! Join the conversation below in the comments.