Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library

Five Mistakes That Can Derail Your Job Search

By Ruth Anderson

No matter how much time and energy you invest in job seeking, critical mistakes can derail your efforts. Consider the following job search scenario. Each of the mistakes described below can put your job search off track, but all are easy to avoid.

Mistake #1: Starting with a Handicap

Your job search is underway. Time to get out your resume, dust it off, and add your most recent experience Right?

Wrong. A strong job search starts with strategizing, and a strong resume should be the vehicle to put your strategy into action. It isn't enough to dust off an old resume - you need a revised resume that is tailored to a specific position and a specific employer.

Ask yourself What are the top needs and preferences of this employer? How can you address the employer's needs with specific information about your experience, strengths, and accomplishments? And how can you structure your resume to convey this key information in a quick, 30-second scan?

To avoid mistake #1, assume that your resume is much more than a personal history that simply needs a little updating. Start with a strategy, and rewrite your resume so that it speaks directly to the interests and concerns of the employer who will read it.

Mistake #2: Sending Less-Than-Your-Best

Your resume is done, and you've written a cover letter to accompany it. Now you're ready to drop both in the mail in response to a job ad that especially interests you Right?

Wrong. Have you first made very sure that you're not sending out less than your best? Many job seekers fail to realize that both the resume and the cover letter are seen as examples of the quality of their work.

This means that all aspects of overall quality are important - including spelling, grammar, visual layout, organization, and clarity of writing. Errors will stand out like a flashing red light, and anything that makes the resume and cover letter difficult to follow may cause them to be tossed aside.

To avoid mistake #2, follow this rule of thumb: Have at least two other people read both your resume and cover letter before you send them out. Tell them your job-search strategy so that they know what you want to communicate to the employer.

Mistake #3: Cyber-Regrets

The employer has called for an interview! In addition, he's asked that you e-mail a copy of your resume to another person in the company. That's easy - a quick note with a Word attachment Right?

Wrong. A casual approach to the computer world can lead to embarrassing mistakes. Regrettably, e-mails usually can't be called back after clicking on the "send" button.

As before, avoid mistake #3 by treating any letter as both an opportunity to convey your qualifications and a sample of your writing. Avoid common e-mail shorthand and short, terse paragraphs - the former can come across as "unprofessional" and the latter as impersonal.

Finally, to be on the safe side, print out your e-mail and attachment to make sure that all looks well in hard copy. Then send the e-mail to at least one other person, and ask them to review both its content and appearance.

Mistake #4: The Missed Opportunity

You"ve prepared for your interview and thought over all the answers you may have to supply. There's not much more you can do Right?

Wrong. Chances are that at some point in the interview the employer will turn the tables and say: "Do you have any questions?" If you respond by saying "no" or by turning to practical details ("What is your benefits package?"), this will be a missed opportunity.

To avoid mistake #4, think of several questions beforehand - questions that speak directly to the responsibilities and challenges of the job itself. Employers want to know how you think and what you would be like to work with; your questions are an opportunity to show that you can take on the challenges of the job in a constructive way.

Mistake #5: Letting the Ball Drop

You had a strong interview, and you're waiting to hear whether you got the job. At least now you can take a breather while you wait Right?

Wrong. Until you have a job offer, assume that it's up to you to keep the ball in the air. First and foremost, send a thank-you letter to each person who interviewed you, making reference to one or more things that were discussed.

Second, follow up at regular Intervals to indicate your continued interest and keep your prospects alive. It's tempting to hang back so that you "won't be a bother - but the job seeker who lets the ball drop may lose out to the one who is politely and persistently enthusiastic.

© 2005 Ruth Anderson

About The Author
Ruth Anderson is the owner of Vantage Point Coaching & Consulting and author of WRITE RESUMES WITH CONFIDENCE: How to Create Outstanding Resumes and Have the Confidence to Use Them with Success. Learn more about her products and services, including the unique INTRODUCTION TO COACHING and JOB SEARCH TUNE-UP programs, at or write


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd