The Biggest Mistakes New Job Hunters Make

The transition from college student to job hunter isn’t an easy one. There’s a lot of pressure to land a full-time job right after grabbing your diploma, but it’s not always that easy. Don’t throw in the towel just yet, though, because we’re listing out some common mistakes new job hunters make below. Get familiar with them, nix them, and keep trying!

Not tailoring their resume and cover letter for each role. 

Job hunting isn’t meant to be a speedy process. Although tempting, avoid quickly sending out the same generic resume and cover letter to every company you apply for. We’ll be blunt—this type of laziness sticks out like a sore thumb. Instead, craft each application specifically for the role and company you’re applying for—why is this the company you want to work for, and how does your experience align with the requirements in this specific job description? Even something as simple as addressing the hiring manager by name in your cover letter (search LinkedIn!) can make a huge difference.


Forgetting to demonstrate their accomplishments.

As a new job hunter, your job experience is likely pretty similar to other candidates you’re up against—a college degree, some internships, and maybe a few organizations or volunteer work. In order to get your resume plucked from the pile, you have to provide more than just the tasks you were assigned in prior roles. Instead, focus on what you achieved. What problems did you solve? How did you make your role more efficient? What new ideas did you introduce?



Failing to ask questions during the interview. 

At some point in your interview, the tables will turn and your interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. Saying “no” can potentially blow your chances, even if the interview went well up until that point. Taking time to ask your own set of questions shows that you’re fully invested in learning about your fit within the role and the company.


Not researching the company well enough.

You might know your own skills and expertise like the back of your hand. You may even have solid proof that you’ve performed well in similar roles in the past. However, researching the company is another crucial part of landing a job. Your responses during the interview should demonstrate that you’ve read up on the company’s mission, goals, and services. Hiring managers don’t just want someone with the right expertise, they also want someone who already knows why they’re a great fit for that specific company.


Overlooking spelling and grammar mistakes. 

This might seem obvious, but it’s a major mistake that many people still make! It only takes a few minutes to proofread your resume and cover letter. It also only takes a few minutes to have a friend or career coach review it as well. Definitely nix those errors before sending out your application!


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