Dumb Mistakes Smart Job Seekers Make (and What to Do Instead)

mistakes-job-seekers-make-textCould you be sabotaging your own chances of landing the job you want? You’re a sophisticated, career-minded, smart person. You know you have the qualifications, experience, and talent to get results. If only you could convince someone to give you a chance to prove yourself, you’d be all set.

If you haven’t called me yet (at 321-442-7994), start there. Let’s put together a resume that gets noticed and gets your foot in the door.

Once that’s in place, though, you need to think like an employer thinks. For employers, hiring a stranger to fill a vital role in his organization carries with it substantial risk. If he hires an incompetent employee, he wastes time and costs the company money.

What does this mean to you? He’s looking for the flaw that makes you less likely to succeed than your competition. That way, he can eliminate the bad apples from the bunch and minimize the chances he’ll hire someone who isn’t capable of doing the job well.

Often the “flaw” he finds is something you could have easily corrected.

What simple things are you doing (or not doing) that sabotage your chances? Here are the little things hiring managers notice. You might be surprised how simple it can be to differentiate yourself and nab that offer.

Professional Email

What’s the email address listed on your resume? If it’s not a professional-sounding name, change what you use immediately. Grab a free Gmail or Yahoo account and use something straightforward like firstname.lastname@gmail.com. As soon as employers see playful, sexy, or sarcastic usernames, they’re running in the opposite direction. Don’t make this dumb mistake.

Social Media

To reduce risk, employers want to know as much as they can about you in the shortest amount of time possible. Where do they get their information?

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Even Google.

It’s true: you can say whatever you want on Facebook.

That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Even stuff you think only your friends can see sometimes gets discovered. That post about the party Saturday night? About how much you hate your job? The election? Time to spring clean if you want to get hired.

Don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing at a job interview.


How does an employer decide between the final two or three candidates? After an exhaustive search, you’ve done everything possible to become a finalist. It’s the home stretch – decision time.

Guess who wins?

Most often, it’s the one who follows up after the interview.

It comes down to this: how badly do you want it? Show it. While you don’t want to seem too eager or desperate at the interview, a follow-up contact is the perfect opportunity to show employers you mean business. Tell them you’re in it to win with a courteous thank-you letter or email.

But don’t stop there. Follow up with every resume you send. Most won’t do this. With enthusiasm and gratitude, bolster your case to be the one that’s chosen.

A brief thank you for consideration keeps your name fresh in the hiring manager’s mind and demonstrates valuable people skills. When you’re liked, you get hired. When you’re remembered for the right reasons, you get hired.

Body Language

Are you excited to be interviewing for this job? How’s your body language?

Don’t forget to smile. In the nervous anxiety of the moment, many interviewees forget to smile. When you talk on the phone, your smile comes through in your voice. If it doesn’t, somebody else’s will and you could miss the chance to land the job.

Be friendly and assertive, without coming across as aggressive. Not sure how you’re coming across? Practice answering interview questions with a friend. Your friend can point out your awkward moments, so you can fix them in the comfort of your home. With practice, you’ll come across as poised, confident, and competent.

Watch your tone, too. A friendly, inviting demeanor can do more to advance your career than all the experiences and degrees you’ve accumulated.


I want you to take 2 valuable perspectives away from the few minutes you’re spending here.

First, decide not to take things personally. Hiring managers are busy people. They’re making split-second decisions about who to interview, who to hire, and who to ignore.

If the phone doesn’t ring for that job you were dreaming about, it doesn’t mean you weren’t the best candidate.

All it means is that you get the chance to change your job search approach until the right employer recognizes that you’re the right candidate.

Second, don’t give up. The next resume may be the one that wins. Or the 10th. Or the 50th. Or beyond. It’s a numbers game. Don’t let the process beat you down. Remind yourself about why you’re a great candidate, and keep putting yourself in front of the people who can hire you.

Don’t want to wait? I can help you get hired faster with a resume managers want to read. Don’t waste another day with a resume that gets deleted. Don’t waste another opportunity with a boring resume that gets thrown in the trash with the rest. Call me today, and let’s talk about how I can help you fast forward to “You’re Hired!” in record time.

Make an investment in your future with a resume / CV and cover letter written by Vivian Adkins, CPRW of Foremost Resumes. Foremost Resumes offers affordable resume writing services – resume prices are published here. If you have any questions about my resume services, call or text 1-321-442-7994.

Resume writing services include:

-Executive Resume Package
-Professional Resume Package
-Entry Level Resume Package for Graduates
-Military Resume Package
(LinkedIn Profile Improvement Add-On Service available for all resume writing packages)

If you found this post helpful, I’d be grateful if you would help spread it by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.

Thank you!

—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes

About Author

Vivian Adkins, CPRW
Vivian Adkins, CPRW is the owner of Foremost Résumés and a Certified Résumé Writer. On this blog you can learn about résumés, how LinkedIn can help with your job search, how to conduct an online job search, and more.
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