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Top 3 Common Job Seeker Mistakes: It Could Happen to You

Year-after-year, job seeking behavior is analyzed to identify trends for employers, as well as provide HR professionals an opportunity to, once again, tell job seekers what they are doing wrong and how to fix it. Though humans are more intelligent than ever and behaviors have evolved with social media and technological advancement, the common job seeker mistakes have not.



One page is too short. Two pages is too long. Frustratingly, the expectations of a resume tend to vary from manager to manager and it can feel impossible to please everyone. One mistake that continues to frustrate hiring managers is that resumes are not customized to the job for which candidates are applying.

According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 61% of employers said they would pay more attention to a resume that is tailored to the job. On the other hand, 62% of employers would not consider a resume with embellished skill set, so job seekers must be careful not to exaggerate. Be creative when describing your skills and remember to only include content relevant to the job.

An added benefit of customizing a resume to the job for which you’re applying? The tendency for many companies to use an Applicant Tracking System, which matches resume content against keywords in the job posting. In fact, according to a recent study by Capterra, 75% of quality applicants are rejected by Applicant Tracking Systems, regardless of how magnificent their experience might be. To make the cut, job seekers should use keywords from the job description and keep the format simple.


61% of employers said they would pay more attention to a resume that is tailored to the job. Click To Tweet



In its highest form, a job search is about finding a calling and an employer that needs that skill. In other words, it should be exciting for both the job seeker and the employer! So when a candidate enters an interview with no knowledge about what the company does, it shows a lack of excitement and you are most likely not getting the job.

CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, Liz Ryan (@humanworkplace), explains that not doing enough research is the deadliest mistake a job seeker can make. It seems elementary and tedious, but if you want a fighting chance at landing a good job, read up on company history, competitors, industry, even research on social media can reveal personal details about your interviewer.


.@humanworkplace explains why doing your research before a job interview is so crucial. Click To Tweet


Preparing Questions

In her article titled, “The Six Most Sabotaging Interview Mistakes,” Forbes contributor Ashley Stahl discusses how not having questions prepared for the interviewer is detrimental to landing the job. This is an area that can seem easy to do on a whim or when the chemistry is just right with the interviewer, but an interviewer is far too important to be unprepared for. It is important to show the employer you are interested in them just as much as, if not more than, they are interested in you. So, do us all a favor, prepare interview questions (research!) and remember you are interviewing them too.

The biggest takeaway from the resources discussed boils down simply to an absolute need for job seekers to research during their preparation. So, to the job seekers out there that think they have it all figured out, think again and then start researching!


Don’t know where to start? Take a look at some oddball interview questions a sneaky recruiter could spin on you.