Job Hunt Dragging On? You Could Be Making One of These 12 Big Mistakes

By Mike Haaren – Rat Race Rebellion Co-Founder – Updated March 18, 2019

Work from Home Jobs – 12 Job Hunting Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

If your job hunt feels like it’s dragging on, you may be making one of these classic missteps. We’ve worked with thousands of job seekers, and when the hunt turns into a marathon, it’s usually due to one of these culprits.

Few things are as hard on your self-esteem, checkbook, and morale as hunting for a job. So please don’t prolong it with these no-nos!

— “I applied for that job and they never even answered. Now they say they’re hiring again. But to heck with them! I’m not going to waste my time applying again.” It can sometimes take several applications to the same employer to land the job you want. Maybe they were flooded with resumes or had fewer openings the first time you applied. Or they’re looking for a different mix of employees this time around. We’ve seen many people hired on the second or third application. So if you’re really interested in that particular job, don’t give up — the next time may be the charm!

“A lot of applications say ‘cover letter optional.’ If it’s optional, I’ll skip it. My resume will be enough.” Cover letters are a great way to set yourself apart. And you’re competing with job seekers who do take the time to make theirs stand out. So be sure to include them whenever possible. Here are 7 tips to make yours stellar!

— “I’ll look for work an hour or two a day. That should be plenty.” Unfortunately, that yeast probably won’t raise the dough. Unless your search isn’t urgent, your new “job” is to find a job, and that should be a full-time commitment. Remember, the less you look, the longer it will take.

— “Company X is hiring. I read some bad reviews about them. They must be terrible to work for. I’ll skip them.” Every company gets some bad reviews, just like every YouTube vid gets some thumbs-down. The overall rating or ratio is a better indicator. Glassdoor, Indeed and similar sites have five-star ratings systems. You may want to decide beforehand what’s acceptable to you — no companies rated under x stars. That will help you focus your search, and you can read a good number of all the reviews to see exactly what the pros and cons of the company might be.

— “My credit’s a mess. But it’s too much trouble to try to fix it.” More and more employers are running credit checks on job applicants. Repairing your credit should be a top priority. Not only will it open up more jobs — many at higher pay — you’ll get much better interest rates on things you need to finance.

— “I keep getting rejected, or they don’t even reply. I’ll never find a job. I may as well give up.” It’s harsh — and it makes the job hunt much more painful — but many companies are replying only to applicants they’re interested in. And if you feel like giving up, it’s understandable — your self-esteem is being assaulted by a bunch of “No’s” or, perhaps worse, silence. It feels intensely personal. As one of our Facebook members said, “It hurts.”

But remember that the people saying “No” or not replying have no idea who you actually are. Often, there’s not even a human involved in the initial decision: software is scanning resumes and applications. Regardless, try not to take it to heart. Job hunting takes tremendous energy and positivity, and pessimism will drain you. As we mentioned, and many RRR jobfinders have said, “Persistence is key.” Stay positive and keep submitting those applications. “Yes” will come.

— “I don’t need to tailor my resume. I can use the same one for this job, too.” Not a good idea. Every job is unique, and your resume has to “wow” with its fit. As with cover letters, you’ll be competing with people who do tailor their resumes, so it’s always better to take the extra step.

“My last employer was a real jerk for firing me, and I vent about them online every chance I get!” Venting can be therapeutic — who doesn’t use their car as a “rant box” when they’re in a hurry and stuck in gridlock? But venting in the open online — no matter how justified your feelings may be — is a huge mistake. Hiring managers and Rrecruiters frequently do social media searches on applicants, and they read public posts. They won’t hire you if they think you have an “anger issue,” especially when working from home is involved, where you won’t be under direct supervision. Venting to close friends in private is fine, but don’t do it on public forums — your job hunt will likely get much longer.

“I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs. Nobody’s hiring!” Actually, they are hiring (see our most recent “We Got Hired!” post for some examples). But if they’re not hiring you, your resume may need upgrading. Maybe you need a skills update, or a resume rewrite. For tips on where to get free training, certifications, and job counseling, click here.

— “I won’t work for less than $x per hour.” It’s fine to set a minimum pay rate based on your budget. But is pride playing a bigger role than budget? (Even if it makes sense to wait for that higher-paying job, you can still get extra cash and [email protected] experience with side gigs. We post new ones almost every day on our Newest Jobs & Gigs page.) If pride is in play, you may want to rethink that target pay rate. If it’s too high, your job hunt could be a long one.

— “They want to interview me, but I don’t have time for a lot of prep. They’ll just have to accept me as I am.” Lack of preparation is one of the most common reasons for failed interviews. Also negativity, lack of enthusiasm, and not looking your best. Interviews are like a first date with someone you’re really interested in — it’s all compressed and vivid and extra-real, and every detail counts. Be ready!

— “Since I’m job-hunting from home, I’d better get these dishes done/wash the clothes/vacuum the house. That’s important, too.” Yes, keeping up with household chores is important, and messy surroundings add to the stress of being out of work. But don’t let the chores be an alibi for postponing your daily “time on task.” The more time you spend searching effectively, the sooner you’ll be working — and getting paid for it!

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