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What Not to Do if You’re Looking for a Job

It’s a job seeker’s market, so if you are someone who finds themselves taking advantage of the environment and seeking out your next position, it will only help if you take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success as you start your job search. No matter how qualified you are, sometimes the interviewing and hiring process can seem daunting. Doing your research, preparing for each interview, communicating with those in charge of hiring throughout, it can all get overwhelming.

Although having a misstep somewhere along your job-seeking journey doesn’t mean the worst if you could avoid mistakes, why wouldn’t you?

As a jumping-off point, start by NOT doing these 5 things while searching for a job.

Don’t Reach Out Too Much

There’s a thin line between being eager and being annoying. No matter how much you really want a job, don’t channel your inner stage-5 clinger and repeatedly call or email the hiring manager. If the person in charge of hiring does contact you and mentions that they will reach out to you moving forward, sit on your hands and wait for that call. Then, continue your job search.

Don’t Forget About the Details

It’s the little things that make a job candidate stand out, whether that’s in a good way or a bad way. Proofread your entire job application and consider having someone else take a look at it before you hit “submit.” Sending an application with grammatical mistakes not only looks sloppy, but it also comes across as looking like someone who doesn’t really want the position, and even worse, can’t execute properly on the task in front of them.

Don’t Bring Up Compensation Too Quickly

The topic of salary and benefits should be a part of the interview process, but it shouldn’t be the first part. Start with keeping your focus on selling yourself and what you can bring to the position and company. Then, once you’ve gone through a couple of rounds of interviews, bring up the topic of salary and benefits when the conversation has an opening to do so.

Don’t Get Defensive

Not every response from a person in charge of hiring is going to be lollipops and rainbows. There will be rejection, and you should know how to handle it. What about getting ghosted? No one’s arguing that it’s easy to act graciously when someone shuts the door in your face or completely ignores you. Do your best to stay cool and avoid being defensive. As challenging as it can be, don’t take it personally. It might not be easy getting passed up for a job you really want, but being argumentative with the messenger isn’t going to solve anything. Instead, ask for feedback on why you weren’t the choice. It can only make you a more viable job candidate moving forward.

Don’t Be Generic

Sending the same job application for multiple job openings or the identical email copy sharing your interest in a job is a huge job search faux pas. Instead, add a unique flair to each job-search correspondence and personalize whenever you can. If your message looks like a canned shell of information, it’s never going to catch anyone’s attention. Mix in something specific about the company or actual position itself to make your communication more memorable.

Searching and applying for jobs is a full-time job when done right. So, keep these tips in mind to leave the best impression on those in charge of hiring.

Are there other things you would recommend avoiding during your job search? Start the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Changing Careers Later in Life.