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Avoid These 7 Job Search Mistakes

Looking for a new job can be stressful and time-consuming. But if you’ve been on the hunt for several months, and aren’t making much progress, it’s possible that you’re getting in your own way.
job interview mistakes
David Blackwell/Flickr

If you’re having trouble landing a second interview, or even lining up that initial phone screen, ask yourself if you’re making any of these common job search mistakes.

1. Expecting immediate results.

It takes time to find a new job, especially as you climb the corporate ladder. So, how long should you expect a job search to take?

“Over time, experts have estimated it would take very, very roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn,” writes Alison Doyle at The Balance. “So, in theory, if you were looking to earn $60,000 a year your job search could take six months.”

That’s just one estimate, but the bottom line is that good jobs rarely fall into your lap. Don’t get discouraged if your search takes several months.

How long does a job search take? Some experts estimate one month for every $10,000 of salary. Click To Tweet

2. Looking for a job on the job.

They say that the best time to look for a job is when you have a job, and that’s true — but that doesn’t mean that you should job search while you’re actually on the job. Of course it’s inconvenient to have to attend to these things after-hours. But it’s unprofessional and unethical to go about it any other way.

3. Only using online tools to find opportunities.

If you confine your search to job boards and corporate sites, you could be missing out. Using local newspapers to job hunt might make sense if you’re looking for a lower paying job. And, resources like employment agencies and search firms are often good options for professionals. Of course, one of the best ways to find a job is through networking. Up to 85 percent of all jobs are filled that way, according to experts.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

4. Not utilizing your network.

Some people feel uncomfortable networking, but there are ways to do it that don’t feel so icky. Remember that networking is a give and take — you’re not asking anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t gladly do in return. Plus, if someone in your network does connect you with an opportunity, that would benefit them as well.

5. Having mistakes on your resume or cover letter.

Your interview materials should be error-free. Ask a trusted friend to proofread your resume, cover letter and portfolio. Double-, triple- and quadruple-check for mistakes.

6. Lying on your resume.

Lying on your resume is always a bad idea, whether it’s about your education, experience or skills. Not only is it unethical, but chances are that you’ll get caught, which will damage your career 10 times more than your lie could ever improve it.

7. Thinking that a new job will make you happy.

At the end of the day, the only thing that will really truly make you happy is your attitude and outlook. Your circumstances can change at work, at home, or anywhere in between. But, none of those things in and of themselves will make you happier over the long-term.

Happiness comes more easily to folks who cultivate a certain approach to life. So, try to nurture an attitude of compassion, confidence and gratitude if you want to turn your mood around in a real and lasting way. Don’t expect that getting a new job will take care of everything.

Tell Us What You Think

What mistakes have you made during a job search? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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