9 Common Mistakes Unemployed People Make During a Job Search

May 03, 2017

Ideally, the best time to search for a job is while you are still employed. That certainly helps to keep the cash flowing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Downsizing, layoffs, or jobs that simply don’t work out can easily put you in the position of scrambling to find a new job. Sometimes this panic, along with other factors, can result in your making some mistakes during your job search. Here are some of the most common


Treating The Job Search Like a Full Time Job

You’ll be told over and over again that you have to treat the job search like it’s a full time job. This is horrible advice. First of all, how demoralizing. You’ll burn out before you know it!

Yes, you should absolutely dedicate a significant portion of the day to your job search. It’s just that doing this forty hours per week isn’t sustainable. After all, there are a limited number of jobs in any field in any region at any particular time. Eventually, you will run out of places to apply.

If you only spend a couple of hours each day researching job openings and sending out your resume, that’s perfectly fine. There are other things that you can also do to help your job search. This includes keeping up with industry news, communicating with contacts in your network, and finding ways to apply your skills as a volunteer.


Failing to Use All of The Resources Available to You

If you are unemployed, you may not be using all of the resources that are available to you. Here are a few things to look into:

  • Sign up at your local unemployment office. Even if you don’t qualify for benefits, you can still use their other offerings such as posting your resume, viewing their job listings, and attending job fairs.
  • Community and libraries often have volunteers on hand to help you with job search advice.
  • Temporary assistance with food, cash, and utilities can help you keep things together until you are employed again. Check with local charities and your county health and human services. You can always pay it forward later.
  • If you are a member of a union or any professional associations, they may have job listings just for members.
  • Check upscale resale shops or even Goodwill for interview clothes

Leave  no stone unturned when looking for help in finding a new job and surviving the time between jobs.


Not Keeping to a Schedule

Don’t let laziness and depression over your situation overcome you. It’s easier than you think to fall into a pattern of waking up whenever, applying for a few jobs, and then drifting through the rest of your day. This can feel like vacation at first, but eventually it will drag you down.

You don’t need to plan an eight hour work day. Just create a bit of a schedule to follow that involves getting up at a reasonable time, being productive, and hopefully getting enough sleep. If you have a workout routine or regularly scheduled social time, try your best to keep that up.


Becoming a Negative Presence

There’s an old saying that what  you feed grows. If you feed negativity, resentment, and anger, that is what will grow. You may have very valid reasons to feel upset or angry about the situation you are in. Just be aware that if you nurture these feelings too much, they can really become a part of your personality.

If you’ve ever been around someone who just seems to emanate negativity, you know that it can put people off. That’s not something you want people to sense in you on job interviews, or even when you are just interacting with people.


Failing to Develop a Professional Web Presence

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time for you to debut your professional, internet persona. The first step is to create a profile on LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook is also a good option, but don’t stop there. Reach out to people. Search for lists and groups related to your profession or that have local relevance, and join up. Participate in conversations.

Finally, look into creating your own website to use as a portfolio and introduce yourself as a professional with something to offer. Link your professional website on your resume, and add it to your social media profiles.


Not Considering All of Your Options

If you’ve been searching for jobs that match the one you just left, you’re not alone. If you’ve identified, for example, as a customer service lead it’s natural to try and find that identical job at another company. You’ll probably even look for jobs with the same number of hours and the same shifts.

The problem is that by doing this, you could be limiting your options. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Have I developed skills, experience, or talents that I can use in other fields?
  • Am I willing to relocate?
  • Will working part time or as a temp help me right now?
  • Should I freelance?
  • Can I work nights or split shifts?

If you are willing to consider more options, you can definitely increase your chances of finding a job.


Failure to be Discreet

There’s no doubt that you know not to badmouth your former employer on Facebook. You’d certainly never say anything bad in an interview or on an application either. Just know that this level of discretion may not be enough.

Be very careful when it comes to who, when, and where you vent about your previous work situation. This is especially true if you live and work in a small town, or if you are venting to other people in your industry. Remember that word can travel more quickly than you realize.


Letting Desperation Drive Your Decision Making Process

It’s understandable if you feel as if you should accept the next offer that comes around. Unemployment is scary, stigmatizing, and a real challenge to your balance. The thing is though, is that if you act out of frustration, fear, or desperation, you can do yourself a real disservice.

Make a plan. Be realistic about your situation. Reach out to others for advice and help. Most important, focus on the long run. Don’t compromise on a job offer if you are just going to be misled.


Refusing to Conduct a Self Analysis

People wind up unemployed for a variety of reasons. This may be through no fault of your own, or you may have played a significant role. If you cannot figure out what went wrong, then history is doomed to repeat itself.

Have the courage to identify what it is that led to your situation. Did you miss signs? Was there an underlying dissatisfaction that led to poor performance? How can you prevent getting into a negative situation like this in the future? Is it time for a career change?

The point of this isn’t to beat yourself up. Instead, it’s to help you figure out what your best fit is, and to help you to identify any improvement that you need to make.

If you are unemployed, think long and hard about your next steps. You are in a position that is stressful and difficult, yet also in a position where great opportunities may be just around the corner.

Additional News

Did you know? 90% of first impressions are now made online!

What is your online reputation telling potential employers?  Sign-up for the Two Way Resume newsletter where we share step by step processes to build your online reputation.  Never be looked over by a potential employer ever again!

You have Successfully Subscribed!