Seven Mistakes That Will Cost You the Job


Hunting for a job can be stressful, especially in a lackluster economy. But there’s no reason to hurt your chances by making common mistakes:

1. Using a generic cover letter.

If you’re not customizing your letter for the company you’re applying to and showing why you’re especially interested in the firm, you’re sending a bad message.  

You’re signaling to that potential employer that it’s merely one of many companies you’re applying to, says Richard LaPalme, an employment coach in Agawam, Mass.

2. Avoiding friends and family.

While you might feel embarrassed if you’re out of work and looking for a new job, don’t let that prevent you from telling friends and relatives that you’re on the hunt.

They may know people you could meet who could help you find a position, says Tom Gimbel, chief executive of staffing firm LaSalle Network in Chicago.

3. Relying on online job boards.

You probably won’t get far by continually sending your r谷sum谷 into the black hole of online postings.

A broad network will help you find openings on the so-called ‘hidden’ job market, where positions aren’t formally posted but applicants are found through word-of-mouth or referrals.

4. Lack of interview specifics.

When interviewing, if you’re not emphasizing specific strengths and giving detailed examples of your previous accomplishments, you won’t help your candidacy, says Mr. Gimbel.

Also make sure to politely follow up every time you meet a potential employer or a new contact in an industry to thank them for their time meeting you.

5. Not knowing the company.

Some job seekers hurt their own chances by neglecting to do basic research on the company that they’re interviewing with.

Be sure to research your target company’s people, products and services, says Mr. LaPalme.

6. Not hunting hard enough.

When out of work, treat the job hunt as a full-time job. Dedicate time to the search every day, even if you get discouraged by rejections.

7. Showing negativity.

While rejections are disappointing, keep a positive attitude during any interaction with a potential employer, says Joanie Ruge, senior vice president of

‘Employers don’t want to hire someone who’s going to bring past problems or frustrations to their workforce,’ she says.
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