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Watch Out for These Job Search Mistakes

As you strike out in search of a new job, you’ll need plenty of confidence, a beautifully edited resume, and network of friends and professional contacts who you can turn to for support, leads, and guidance. You’ll also need to stay on your toes and watch out for these common pitfalls. Job mistakes like these can be more damaging than you may realize, and even experienced job seekers aren’t immune. Watch your step and keep your eyes on the road ahead.

Phone Trouble

During your modern job search, your phone can serve as a guide, an information resource, and a close companion who can get you out of a pickle if you get lost on your way your interview…but watch out. When it comes to reaching your professional goals, there’s a right time and a wrong time to place your entire destiny in the hands of your device. Take hard copies of your resume with you to your interview—don’t rely on your phone to transmit vital info to a person sitting two feet away. And ideally, you’ll want to keep your phone tucked away and silent during your meeting. Never hold up your phone and look at it during a conversation with another person if you’re trying to get that person to hire you.

Lazy or Slow Responses

It may not seem fair, but response times don’t take place on an equal playing field. Your recruiter is under no obligation to respond to your emails and phone calls quickly…or at all. After all, she’s working for her employer clients, not for you (that’s why she isn’t charging you for her services). But you, on the other hand, ARE obligated to respond, and your answers should be complete, polite, and respectful as well as fast. If she asks you for something, provide it immediately.


Generations ago, points were given (consciously or unconsciously) to job candidates who burst through the door with a swagger, made demands, or gave off an aura of entitlement and expectation. But times have changed, and if you don’t know the difference between confidence and arrogance, now is the time to learn. If you act as though the job is yours before you receive a formal offer, prepare to stay on the market for a long time. To earn respect, show respect first.


By the same token, it’s hard to convince someone to hire you or take a chance on you if you seem uncertain about what you actually want. You can’t control the decisions or destinies of other people—that’s arrogance. But you can, and should, control your own destiny at all times. Be clear with your employers about what you want from your life and your career, and ask plenty of questions to determine if a given opportunity will align with your needs.

For more on how to make the right impression and shorten the path to your dream job, reach out to the staffing team at PSU.