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  • Writer's pictureilenerein

10 Devastating Things Definitely NOT To Do When Looking For A Job

Are you searching for a job but not getting the results you want?

It's hard to know what to do in today's competitive job market—from preparing a stellar resume to networking and even interviewing; there are so many steps to success!

But beware: sometimes, our best intentions can lead us down the wrong path.

As an Executive Recruiter & Job Search Strategist, I've seen too often when job seekers make costly mistakes due to hasty decisions or a lack of knowledge about what employers expect.

I want to shed some light on common "don'ts" among potential applicants so you can clear up missteps that will keep your dream role out of reach.


1. Don't lie on your resume

Never fudge the truth on your resume or job application. Employers can easily verify any information you provide, and lying about your skills or experience is unethical and can lead to severe consequences.

In fact, research indicates that nearly 40 percent of businesses discover lies in potential employees' resumes.

Not only is withholding or falsifying information unethical, but it reflects poorly on any individual who decides to go down that route.

If a company discovers it has been deceived during recruitment, there could be severe legal ramifications.

So protect yourself and your future career growth by maintaining honesty and integrity in all aspects of the hiring process.

2. Don't use a generic cover letter

A generic cover letter can indicate that you haven't taken the time to research the company or position, and it won't help you stand out from other applicants.

Writing a tailored cover letter can make a tremendous difference in your job application, increasing the chances of making a good impression.

Statistics show that employers who receive customized cover letters are more likely to respond and consider applicants for an interview.

A generic cover letter gives recruiters the impression that you haven't taken the time to research their organization or role, which won't help you stand out from other potential employees.

Take some extra time to review each position and tweak your cover letter accordingly; it will be worth the effort in the long run!

3. Don't apply for a job you're not qualified for

Applying for a job that you are unqualified for might seem like the easier option. However, the chances of your application being successful are significantly lower.

According to recent research, 80% of applicants who applied for roles outside their qualifications were rejected after two rounds of interviews.

It's much better to invest time in finding the right role for your skillset and experience level, as this will increase your probability of being employed in the long run.

4. Don't forget to proofread your application

Applying for a job is key to setting yourself up for success. However, many people make mistakes that can cost them their dream job. One critical mistake to avoid is forgetting to proofread your application.

Statistics show that nearly 60% of employers identify spelling and grammar mistakes as the most frequent errors applicants make.

Don't let minor typos or mistakes detract from your professionally presented argument; take the extra time to re-read your submission and ensure it looks as good as you feel.

Doing this simple task will go a long way toward helping employers recognize what an asset you are.

5. Don't be afraid to negotiate

Most job seekers are scared of negotiating salary and benefits. But remember—employers expect it! If you don't ask, you won't get it. After all, hiring managers want the best talent for their company and are willing to pay more if needed.

Research a reasonable rate for the market and industry you’re applying, and don't be afraid to ask for more.

Also, think beyond salary and ask about vacation time, additional bonuses or stock options, etc. Doing so shows that you are confident in your skills and worth and will help ensure you get the most out of your new role.

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6. Don't neglect networking

According to a survey of over 1,000 hiring professionals, networking is essential for job seekers.

Specifically, 97% of the professionals surveyed identified networking as a key factor in their decision process.

Don't neglect this step when applying for a job!

Utilizing sites like LinkedIn and attending relevant job fairs can help you make connections, increase your exposure, and get your name out there! It's a great way to network and build relationships that can be mutually beneficial in the long run.

7. Don't be late

It is imperative that job applicants don't forget one of the most important factors when applying for a job - punctuality.

According to statistics, 81% of hiring managers consider a late arrival to indicate an individual's lack of dedication and organization.

Arriving late shows that you don't value your interviewer’s time.

To make a good impression, it's always better to plan and arrive early, preferably at least 10 minutes before the meeting begins.

This will give you enough time to shrug off any pre-interview jitters and ensure the interview starts correctly.

8. Don't be vague in your answers

When asked questions during a job interview, speaking with thought and precision is essential.

Employers will be most impressed with clear, specific examples of how your skills can benefit the organization. Using vague or overly general answers can reflect an unprofessional attitude, so focus on providing concrete evidence to support your assertions. Stats-backed data can also be very powerful in demonstrating the value you would bring to their team.




9. Don't ignore follow-up procedures

After submitting your resume and cover letter, it is essential to ensure that you are following up on your application.

In general, research has shown that 62% of employers expect job seekers to follow up after an interview or a submitted application in the form of an email or phone call.

When reaching out, it is important to maintain a friendly but professional attitude.

Thank the employer for taking the time to meet with you to discuss the job opportunity and any other future possibilities.

Also, inquire about when they will be making their hiring decision, as this can help leave a lasting impression and further demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job!

10. Don't forget to stay positive

Applying for a job can be stressful, but staying positive is essential to increase your chances of success.

Research shows that 59% of recruiters are attracted to people with a confident attitude and 44% would argue that enthusiasm is the key attribute they look for when considering potential employees.

So don't forget to put on a smile during your interview or showcase your excitement when answering questions. Keeping a positive mindset will help you stand out amongst other applicants!

Heading into a job search can be daunting, but by taking the time to research and avoid these ten pitfalls, you're already one step closer to nailing that dream job interview. Though each situation is unique, understanding common mistakes will help give you an edge over other candidates competing for the same role.

Keep these tips in mind as you move forward with your career journey, and let me know how they worked out for you!

[ 🔥Schedule a Complimentary Consultation ]

Grab time on my calendar to discuss your job search and how we can get you hired rapidly!


If you are still baffled by the job search process and are convinced that it is broken, or you are going on interviews and not getting offers, grab time on my calendar to learn more about the strategic roadmap for job seekers I have created that shares the inside secrets from the view of the Recruiter, so you do not have to waste time figuring out how to find a job or to waste time by making mistakes.

My job seeking clients are getting hired in 3-8 weeks in their dream jobs after searching on their own for 9-12 months! Check out the detailed statistics.

Grab time on my calendar to discuss your job search and how we can get you hired rapidly!


Connect with me on LinkedIn so you can follow my job searching advice to help you land your dream job rapidly:


🔴 Ilene Rein is an Executive Recruiter and Job Search Strategist. She teaches job seekers exactly how to market themselves with laser precision to employers using inside secrets from the view of the Recruiter exponentially increasing their chances of getting noticed and hired rapidly!


If you are serious about your job search and want to learn how to land your dream job in record time, schedule a complimentary consultation to speak directly with Ilene:


My clients are getting hired in 3-8 weeks in their dream jobs after searching on their own for 9-12 months!

Check out the DETAILED STATISTICS of the Pounding Pavement 101 Foolproof, Job-Getting, Career-Building System:


Job seekers who landed their dream jobs in record time:

Parents who got adult children off the family payroll:


© 2023 Ilene Rein | Pounding Pavement 101 - All rights reserved.


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