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7 Deadly Mistakes Of Job Seekers  
12/13/2011 4:05:38 PM

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7 Deadly Mistakes of Job Seekers April 3, 2014

Avoid these obvious but common mistakes job seekers make.

By Trudy Byrnes, Career Consultant

I have been a professional career consultant for more than 20 years having worked with high school students, college students, graduates, and professionals looking for a career change. Job seekers consistently make the same mistakes but these can be avoided.

Looking for a job can be stressful and daunting—not to mention a tedious process. To compound the difficulties, most job seekers fall trap to some of the deadliest job hunting mistakes but the problem is they don't know it.
In today's competitive job market, it's imperative that job seekers recognize these deadly mistakes in order to counter them and increase their chances of landing a job. So if you're reading this, then chances are you are looking for a job or know somebody else who is. Check out the seven deadliest mistakes that should be avoided.

Deadly Mistake 1: Job seekers can be clueless in writing a good resume. Let's be frank here. Many job seekers don't truly know what employers want and know even less about how to write a good resume or cover letter that reflects what the employer is looking for. Tip: Avoid doing what most job seekers do—that is, most people try to write a job application without any help or the right tools. Even if you think you're a brilliant writer, the chances are you don't truly know how to write a job application to the standard that employers expect. The best way to get those resume writing skills up to scratch is to get help from a professional career coach or get access to a quality resume builder. If dollars are a bit tight, then you might choose to buy a good resume software program as professional coaching can be a little expensive. Now you might find a free website builder out there but frankly you generally get what you pay for. Want quality? Tip: Pay for it.

Deadly Mistake 2: Not recognizing the skills you have. Job seekers consistently make the same mistake—they just don't highlight their skills and abilities to employers, or at least, not enough. Want to know why? They just don't recognize the many skills and talents they have or find it difficult to articulate these skills into words. Tip: Do some quick online research with keywords such "skills in the workplace or work skills."

Deadly Mistake 3: Not doing enough research about the company or the job. Veteran job hunters know the importance of research and how it can increase the chances of success. As a contrast, many first time job seekers make the mistake of not researching the company they're applying to. During a job interview, there can be some challenging questions relating to the company you're applying to so be prepared. Tip: Make sure you check out the company website to get an insight into its projects and trends and study the company values and mission statement if available. The organization may also have an annual report which can be very useful to get the inside edge on what's going on.

Deadly Mistake 4: Arriving late during a job interview. Arriving late for a job interview is absolutely in the no go zone. Arriving late will be seen as a sign of being unprofessional which can certainly hurt your chances of getting the job. Remember, first impressions last. Tip: Arrive around 10-15 minutes early and always phone ahead to the employer if you are going to be late.

Deadly Mistake 5: Being complacent or too confident. Being overconfident or too complacent can be two of the worst mistakes a bright and talented job seeker could make. Tell-tale signs of these two mistakes can emerge in your written applications or at the job interview. Tip: Get someone to critique your application prior to sending it or conduct a mock interview with them. The important thing is to find the right balance between being too complacent or overconfident.

Deadly Mistake 6: Uncomfortable body language. Body language plays an extremely important role in job interviews—it will make or break your chances. It's normal to be nervous when you are being scrutinized by a potential employer. Often we are not aware of our distracting body language. That is how we sit, fidget or our awkward facial expressions. Tip: Do an online search of the worst job interviews of all time—then avoid doing those annoying mannerisms.

Deadly Mistake 7: Mentioning negative things about past employers or coworkers. Badmouthing your past employers or coworkers is a huge mistake because the rationale from a prospective employer could be that if you badmouth a past employer then you are likely to badmouth them also. Tip: Just don't do it ever, period. Instead, predict that you may get this question and think ahead of some positive aspects of your previous job or boss that you can mention.

Job hunting can be tricky especially to first time job seekers who don't know the seven deadly mistakes when looking for a job. It is essential that you figure out how to best sell yourself and your abilities in order to increase your chances of landing the job. If you want to get the edge on applying for jobs and beating your competition, then you will need the right tools to help get you there.

About the Author

Trudy Byrnes is a professional career consultant with extensive experience in the career planning industry. Over a 20 year period Trudy has worked with both individuals and groups in numerous career planning sessions and job search training programs. Trudy has worked with high school students, college students, graduates and professionals looking for a career change.

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