9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Job Search | Career Training | The Salter School
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9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Job Search

Category(ies): Job Search Tips

job search tips, 5 things to avoid in your job searchSpend your time efficiently to maximize your results

Searching for a job can be frustrating, stressful, and time-consuming. It can cause you to feel uncertain of yourself and anxious about the future. If your job search process is unfocused and disorganized, you may find that you are hitting too many dead ends and coming up empty. But it doesn’t need to be this way! To streamline your efforts and get better results, take a look at some common pitfalls and ways to avoid them.

1. Don’t spend all your time online searching
Searching for jobs on large aggregator websites like Monster or Indeed should only be one small part of your job search strategy. These websites are useful because they offer so many job postings, but when you apply for jobs through these nationwide sites, you are usually facing hundreds of competitors. Instead, add these strategies to your job search:

  • Attend career networking and alumni events
  • Spend time building your career network
  • Meet with someone in the Career Services department
  • Talk to friends, family, colleagues, and mentors about your job search
  • Target certain organizations where you want to work and try to get an informational interview
  • Use your LinkedIn connections to find out about job openings
  • Join LinkedIn groups in your career field to make new connections
  • Look for job boards in your specific career field
  • Volunteer in your career field and take advantage of new connections you make
  • Follow companies in LinkedIn or on Google News to learn of changes that could result in new job openings
  • Sign up for email alerts on job boards, so that you don’t have to manually search them for new openings

2. Don’t apply for jobs you are not qualified to do
Creating a job application…revising your resume…customizing your cover: this is a process that can take a lot of time. You could easily spend 2 to 4 hours per job application. For this reason, don’t fall into the trap of applying for jobs where you are not qualified. For most jobs, there are dozens if not hundreds of qualified applicants. If you do not even meet the basic requirements for the job, your resume will most likely be discarded and your time will have been wasted.

3. Don’t discount jobs that are not your dream job
It’s important to know what your priorities are in your job search. You want to find a job that is a good fit for you. But as you are searching, remember that your first job may not be 100% perfect. Be willing to extend your parameters. You may need to apply for jobs that are farther away than you wanted, not exactly the job responsibilities you had wanted, or slightly less pay than you wanted. While you don’t want to sell yourself short, you also need to be somewhat flexible as you search.

4. Don’t send the same resume and cover letter for every job
Applying for jobs takes time. It may be tempting to send out the same resume and cover letter for every job application, but don’t fall into this trap. Instead, tailor your materials to each job posting, so that you are positioning yourself as the best candidate for the specific qualifications that the employer needs. Also, be sure to match your keywords with the type of terminology that appears in the job ad.

5. Don’t post embarrassing content on social media
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Your social media will follow you wherever you go. Make sure you keep your public profile professional. You don’t want to lose the chance at a job interview or a job offer because of an embarrassing photo on Instagram. Take these steps to clean up your social media presence.

6. Don’t complain about former jobs
If an employer ever asks you about past jobs, make sure you never complain! Even if you had the worst boss in the world and never got paid the overtime you deserved, do not complain about this to a prospective employer. The employer does not want to hire a complainer. Instead, keep a positive attitude, and focus on why you are the best candidate for the job.

7. Don’t wing it
If you get asked for an interview, don’t wing it. You’ve got to take time to prepare. This will show the employer that you are serious about the job and want to make a good impression. Use these tips to prepare for a job interview.

8. Don’t forget thank you letters
After every job interview, you should follow up with a thank you letter. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated. Just a brief email to thank the interviewer is enough to tell them that you are still interested in the job. You can also use the thank you letter to reiterate why you are a good candidate for the job.

9. Don’t give up!
If it is taking you a long time to find a job, don’t give up. It can be a long process, and sometimes you just need to be patient while the right opportunities come up. The more you network with others, get your name out there, and look for possibilities, the more luck should turn in your favor.

We hope these hints and tips will help you improve your job search strategy and avoid the pitfalls that can use up valuable time and energy. Best of luck with your job search!



The Salter School is proud of the students in our career-training programs who are taking the initiative to get trained in a new career field. If you are interested in job training or career-focused training with us, contact us online.

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