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Job Seekers: Don’t Make These 7 Deadly Mistakes

job hunting job search advice resume Jan 07, 2022
7 deadly job seeker mistakes

With all the latest revolutions of modern recruitment, it is easy to see how job seekers are making a brand-new set of mistakes. Most savvy job hunters are familiar with the age-old traps, such as making sure to use the right key words for their resume or avoiding grammar or spelling errors on the resume.

However, many of the new mistakes are so insidious, you may never realize that you did them.

Are you making these fatal errors?

  1.  Not Sending A Resume

Okay, this probably sounds crazy. How can you apply to a job without sending a resume? This is, in fact, more common than you may believe. In particular, the biggest offender is the “Apply with LinkedIn” button that appears not only on LinkedIn, but other sites like as well.

The LinkedIn Challenge:

If you are applying through LinkedIn on their website, you must take the initiative to attached your resume. Be aware, it only allows you to attach one document. If you want to include a cover letter, you need to paste it as another page inside your resume Word document, save that as a new file on your computer, and then attach it.

You want to be visible on LinkedIn. 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates, which means you want your profile to be found so double check to make sure your privacy settings are set to “Public.”

  1. The Indeed Challenge:

If you upload your resume to, it will automatically convert that pretty Word or PDF document into their own version, referred to as your “Indeed Resume.” It will use your resume to populate its own fields, rather than saving your original resume with its own formatting.

When you apply to a job on the site, be aware that this is happening when it says, “your full Indeed Resume will be submitted.”

Remember, your original resume with all of its important formatting, will not be submitted. Some companies will ask you to upload your actual resume as the Indeed Resume does not count. Check the company’s actual page to verify this information.

  1.  “Optional” Does Not Mean Optional

Similar to not sending a resume, anytime that the application process lets you do an “optional” feature, you should do it. Most often, this is attaching a cover letter, however, on LinkedIn, this is actually attaching the resume itself.

If all you do is the bare minimum, you are selling yourself short. HR tends to look more favorably on people who submit a full application, which includes the optional information. When they are considering hundreds of candidates, it’s very easy to cut those who don’t put forth more effort.

  1.  Not Completing the Application

This is sneakier than it sounds. Of course, HR used to consider an incomplete application as a one-way trip to the circular file (that’s the trash for you younger readers.)  Sites like often give you the impression that you completed all of the requirements, however, be sure to visit the company’s actual page to:

#1 - Verify the job is real

#2 - Make sure they don’t have an additional requirement for applying.

  1.  Not Paying Attention When Using App-Based Job Searches

Apps are great, right? It allows us to get so much more done on our mobile devices. Unfortunately, it also opens a brand new world of mistakes. Most commonly, these are:

  1. Spelling errors on the “quick fields” during the application process
  2. Incorrect punctuation, especially on capitalization
  3. Forgetting to attach files, such as the resume and cover letter
  4. Not customizing the cover letter to the company

It reminds me of a discussion in one of my LinkedIn Groups from a few years ago. A lady posted a new discussion, asking for some feedback on possible reasons why she couldn’t break into an Executive Assistant job after being and Administrative Assistant for years.

Within her posting, there were several spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and incorrect capitalizations. This continued through her public responses as well as the original question. I contacted her privately and let her know that she should pay closer attention to these details, especially in a public forum. To which she replied, “well, it’s because I’m typing fast.”

Moral of the story: Executive Assistants need to be fast and accurate!

  1.  Irresponsible Social Media Activity

Everything can be found. Everything. I’m not just talking about the drunken Facebook pictures or even political rants on Snapchat.

The new traps relate to how you treat your past company. Complaining about your boss, ripping on a negative culture, leaving a bad review- all of this can be traced back to you.

No matter what you’re saying, if you’re posting it on social media, make sure you’re using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, especially on professional sites like LinkedIn.

  1.  Not Researching the Company

Previously, researching a company was as simple as reading their website and tailoring your resume to fit their needs, or at the very least, addressing their services or products. Today, there is WAAAAAAY more information available to the job seeker.

Even if this intel is not used during your application process, it is very helpful to search them on Google,, and other review sites. Many businesses even appear on Yelp. Try searching “company name scam,” or “company name reputation,” or “company name reviews.”  What I like about this tactic is that it gives real insight into a company. It can even reveal companies that have a negative reputation or bad company culture.  After all, the job may be real, but you may not want it. 

In a world where company culture is more important than ever, there is no excuse in at least trying to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly on any potential employer.

  1.  Not Reaching Out to Current or Past Employees and Managers

Just like we can find out a lot about companies themselves, show some initiative to reach out to not only the managers, but current and past employees as well. Remember, HR has been known to cut qualified applicants based on faulty applications, poor key word selection, and just plain old poor formatting.

By networking into the company, you increase your chances of actually landing an interview.

Wondering how effective your job search is? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our career coaches, Donna Shannon or Dia Kline

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