The seven deadly job hunting sins

Job search

Regardless of whether this is your first time job hunting or you have been there and done that many times, unfortunately, looking for a job never seems to get any easier or quicker. It can be a long-winded and time consuming process but that’s because it’s important that you find the right job and company for you. Jump into something without thinking about it and chances are you will find yourself looking for a new job once again before the year is over.

What are the other mistakes candidates make when looking for a job? Below we reveal the seven deadly job hunting sins – steer well clear of them and you may even speed up the job hunting process.

Ignoring hidden opportunities

Nobody likes to shout about it when they’re unemployed but completely hiding it can massively hinder your job search. Mention it to friends, family and any relevant contacts you have because you never know – they might just know someone recruiting in your field.

Not updating your skills

When we leave a role, we tend to add the details of our latest job to our CV and that’s it. The problem with this is that the skills you gained in a job 10 years ago may have absolutely no relevance in today’s economy. Have a good read through your CV and make sure that you’re only including information that is going to help you secure a new job.

Furthermore, recruiters tend to search job boards using keywords (job titles, skills and qualifications) so it’s vital that your CV contains the right ones. Make sure you’re up to date with your industry terminology and include it in your CV because without it, there is an incredibly high possibility that recruiters will never even know you exist.

Not communicating with your references

Whether you list your references on your CV or pass on their details once you have been offered a job – make sure you do two things. Firstly, ask the person if they’re happy for you to put their name down. If they get a completely unexpected call they will be taken aback and unprepared which could be detrimental to you. Secondly, don’t be afraid to let them know the kind of roles you are going for so they know the relevant achievements, strengths and skills to discuss with your prospective employer.

Making it all about the money

If you turn up to a job interview and the first thing that comes out your mouth is asking how much the job pays, you can pretty much guarantee you will be unsuccessful. No employer wants to feel like the only reason you’re there is because you need money. Take your time in understanding the role, its objectives and the opportunities it will provide you with. Once you are confident that the role is worth pursuing and you have built a rapport with your interviewer, then you can bring up the topic of money. Try to leave it until the very end because chances are the interviewer will have already mentioned it by then.

Getting too personal

Chances are that at some point during your interview you will be asked to tell your interviewer a bit about yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this means they want to know what you like doing at the weekend and what you watch on TV. Whatever your answer, relate it to the job you are interviewing for. For example, you can say you went to university to study in your field, mention any courses or seminars you have attended and any leisure activities you do try and relate it to your work. Competing in a race for example can show an employer that you’re ready for a challenge and can be focused and determined.

Talking too much


In your first interview try to limit your conversation to what you can bring to the company. At this stage all the employer wants to know is if you’re the right fit by keeping them there talking for hours they are likely to become bored which may affect your chances of getting a second interview.

Not approaching companies directly

Job boards are a great way of finding and applying for jobs. However, don’t limit yourself just to this. If there are any particular companies you really want to work for, keep an eye on their website for vacancies. There is nothing wrong with approaching companies directly and it shows you have initiative which is going to impress any employer.

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