Job search mistakes
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5 mistakes you’re making with your job search

1 Mar 2017

Are you in the middle of a job search and feeling a bit dejected? Make sure you avoid these common jobseeker mistakes.

The job search can be thankless, especially for those who aren’t currently employed. Rejection is almost always a guaranteed part of the process, which can be hard to stomach.

With every job being different, it can be difficult to get any steady feedback about where you’re going wrong, too. Is it at the interview stage or the application stage? Is it your experience that is lacking or just the way you’ve presented it?

If you’re feeling a little deflated from the job search, here are a few common mistakes you can watch out for.

Not giving the job search priority

Giving enough importance to your job search is a balancing act. On the one hand, jobseekers need to make sure that finding a job doesn’t take over their lives. They need to spend time with their family, look after their health and find other fulfilment until they have a new job.

However, it can be equally as easy to fall into the trap of not giving it enough time.

Flicking through the #jobfairy hashtag on Twitter a few times a day and blindly sending off your CV isn’t going to be enough. Think of the job search as a job in itself.

Not following directions

It seems so obvious, and yet it’s one of the easiest ways to get rejected, or get no response at all. Make sure you check and double-check how each company wants you to send an application. Is it all in one document or a separate cover letter? PDF or Word document?

These may seem like arbitrary guidelines but if a recruiter is faced with 100 applications for five jobs, one in the wrong format might be easily cut. There’s no reason to make their job harder.

Not proofreading

Again, this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people don’t proofread their writing. Spelling and grammar mistakes are easy to avoid and will make you seem careless from a prospective employer’s point of view.

If you’re applying to a number of similar jobs, think twice before using the copy-and-paste command. For a start, every job application should be tailored, even if the changes are small. Secondly, accidentally leaving the wrong person’s name or company in your cover letter won’t look good.

Not Googling yourself

It’s tempting to avoid looking at what the internet says about you, but if you think prospective employers aren’t checking you out online, you’re lying to yourself.

Get ahead of them by checking out what comes up if they type your name into their search engine. While you’re at it, make sure your social media profiles are clean too.

Not focusing your search

The spray-and-pray approach won’t raise your chances of getting a job. If you’re a qualified software developer and you apply for 40 jobs, but 35 of those jobs are in other industries, you’ve effectively only applied for five jobs.

Jobseekers might also get jaded applying for job after job, leading to repetitive and underwhelming applications and cover letters.

Focus your job search on what you really want to do and apply for each job with passion. It’s important to stay positive throughout the job search and not to get disheartened. Dejection will show when you go for interviews. It’s important to remain confident in yourself and put your best foot forward.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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