Top 10 Job Seeker Mistakes

Written by: Editorial Staff

March 25, 2011
Filed Under Job Search 


A list of the top ten job seeker mistakesContributed by Missy Nolan, Top 10 Guru

Are you ready for a new job? Whether you’re switching careers or joining the working world for the first time, there are several things you should definitely avoid doing during your job hunt.

Save the rejection letters for the other applicants. Soon you’ll be receiving job offers, not generic letters typed on plain white paper that calmly state “the position has been filled, but your application will be kept on file for up to one year”. Keep reading to learn the top mistakes made by fellow job seekers.

10. Being too aggressive

Being too aggressive is a job seeker mistake

A little perseverance is good. A lot of perseverance is not. When you apply for a new job, resist the urge to stalk the company. Calling 14 times an hour will not make a company hire you. Sending emails every 30 minutes to ask if the position has been filled is equally annoying. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t show up in person and demand to know why the hiring manager hasn’t contacted you yet.

9. Not being aggressive enough

Not being aggressive enough is a top ten job seeker mistake

You don’t want to hound the company, but a simple email or voicemail is a good way to check if the position is still available. If you are applying for a restaurant or retail job, you should probably skip the phone call. These establishments are often very busy, and calling during peak periods is a great way to find yourself on the “Do Not Hire” list.

8. Submitting a vague cover letter or resume

A vague resume or cover letter is a top job seeker mistake

When you apply for a new job, you should submit a resume and cover letter specifically tailored towards the position. Not sure how to create a resume? Use a resume template. Make sure to print your resume on a crisp, clean sheet of resume paper.

7. Not dressing appropriately

Not dressing appropriately is one of the top job seeker mistakes

When you go to an interview, dress for the position you are applying for. If you’re a woman applying for an office job, dress to impress with a suit. If you’re a guy, wear a suit and tie. Arrive in jeans and a clean shirt when interviewing for a plant or construction gig; otherwise, you’ll come across as high maintenance. Other jobs, such as retail and restaurant positions, usually expect applicants to show up in khakis or black pants, with a polo shirt or blouse. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure it’s clean and wrinkle-free.

6. Failing to network

Failing to network is one of the top ten job seeker mistakes

Craigslist, Monster, and CareerBuilder aren’t the only places job seekers can find job listings. Have a friend with a great job? Ask them if their company is hiring.

5. Not taking an interest in the company

Not asking questions is a top ten job seeker mistake

When you schedule an interview with a company, always do your homework first. Browse their website, or ask current employees for the scoop on policies and procedures. When your interviewer asks if you have any questions, always ask at least one.

4. Practicing bad interview etiquette

Bad interview etiquette is a top ten job seeker mistake

During an interview, you should not smoke, chew gum, or answer your cell phone. No exceptions. It’s also a good idea to sit up straight, make eye contact, and smile frequently.

3. Having an unprofessional voicemail

An unprofessional voice mail is one of the top job seeker mistakes

Yes, you’re great at rapping the latest Lil Wayne or Nicki Minaj song- but unless you’re applying for a career in the music industry, your potential boss probably doesn’t care about your lyrical talents when he calls to schedule an interview.

2. Lying about your credentials

Lying about credentials is one of the top ten job seeker mistakes

Don’t pad your resume with false credentials. You’ll get caught eventually. Even if you don’t get caught, you’ll have to work twice as hard once your boss starts assigning you tasks that you appear to be qualified for.

1. Sharing your life story during the interview

Sharing your life story during an interview is a job seeker mistake

This is a big no-no. Your interviewer doesn’t care if you’re recently divorced, hate women, have 7 kids with 7 different guys, are in major credit card debt, or live in a van. Save the drama for gossip sessions with your friends.


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