Career Advice

5 Ways to Sabotage Your Job Search

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I’m sure that there are no job seekers who set out to sabotage their efforts while in the process of looking for jobs. But this doesn’t mean that self-sabotage isn’t still possible. There are inadvertent mistakes that you can make along the way to hurt your chances of being hired. So before you apply for one more job, make sure you don’t do the following:

1. Submit a Carbon-Copy resume

Having all been job seekers at some point, anyone can understand the frustration of having to create a new resume for each job we want. But writing up original content that factors in the specific job position and company you’re applying to is crucial to branding yourself as a candidate.

There are inadvertent mistakes that you can make along the way to hurt your chances of being hired. So before you apply for one more job, make sure you don’t do the followingClick To Tweet

If you want to knock yourself out of the running, submit a bunch of resumes that look like they have been sent to another company. These carbon-copy resumes are not only insulting to employers who are seriously looking for candidates, but they are doing you a disservice by selling you short as a professional.

2. Come Off as an Arrogant Job Seeker

As a job seeker, confidence is an amazing attribute to bring to the table. Employers love to know that their candidates feel sure of their ability to get the job done if hired. Unfortunately, there can be a fine line between confidence and arrogance—and you don’t want to cross that line.

For instance, if you have had an amazing career as a biochemist, working for one of the leading laboratories in the country for the past 10 years, you have a lot to brag about. But if you come off in your resume, cover letter, or interview as the savior of the company, you could easily turn off the employer who has to deal with your arrogant attitude.

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3. Annoy Your Last Employer

Although you may have been waiting for the moment when you could tell your former boss to “shove it you know where!”, this is something you never want to do, especially if it’s possible that a future employer may contact the former one for information.

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Although it may feel good to get some bad feelings off of your chest, burning bridges in your professional life can only hurt you in the long run.

4. Live an Openly Unprofessional Life

Employers scrutinize every aspect of their job candidates, which is actually a very smart thing to do. The problem is, if you make unprofessional mistakes as an applicant, you could lose the job before you’re strongly considered.

For instance, if you’re submitting your application via e-mail, don’t use your [email protected] address as contact information. Instead, use your name or another professional handle. And if you have had numerous drunken nights and friends with camera phones, do your best to make sure those images don’t end up online.

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5. Lack of knowledge of the company or the position you applied for

Do your homework before your interview.  Research the company and the person conducting the interview.  One very common question is “why do you want to work here?” – make sure you know the answer.  Know the basics

  • Tell me about yourself – Be prepared with a short, concise overview of who you are and what you do.
  • Why do you want to work for our company? – Assuming for the minute that you would not be interviewing if there was not some interest, do your homework on the company (and the interviewer) before arriving.
  • Why should we hire you? – This is where you go into your prepared pitch on your skills and experience and how they align to both the position and the company.

There are some basic questions that, if not specifically asked, should be communicated by you at some point in the interview.

Finding a job is difficult enough for a seeker without having extra issues being thrown into the equation. So every chance you get, be sure to do what you can to avoid sabotaging your search.

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