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JOB SEARCH: Avoid these Common Pitfalls

Written by Ann Mossop, Employment Specialist with Next-Steps Employment Centre – Downsview

Get started the right way by avoiding these common pitfalls.

  1. Don’t delay in starting your job search and take an extended time off. Job Search is not an exact science and trying different approaches is the key to staying sharp and responsive to employer expectations and needs.
  2. Don’t jump-in and start job searching without doing any research to better understand employer demands, expectations and how to conduct an effective job search in today’s marketplace. Networking is also the best way to get inside information and to gain a competitive advantage.
  3. Don’t resist change and send out the same resumes and cover letters that aren’t working. Do ask for feedback from professionals in the employment field as to current expectations in the job market. Knowing something means nothing. Implementing new knowledge means everything!
  4. Don’t use on-line postings exclusively and as the only way to job search. The best jobs and the majority of jobs are found through networking. Many jobs are never posted and you need to “fish” with a net. You can catch more opportunities by networking. Understand the journey your resume goes through before it lands in front of a pair of human eyes.
  5. Don’t ask people for a Job. Always ask for information and understand the principles behind Networking as it relates to an effective job search. Understand that the subtleties of language and culture are important to adjusting communication to gain support from others.
  6. Don’t Bad Mouth or speak negatively about the job search process, your former company, employer, boss or colleagues. Stay upbeat and positive with everyone you meet.
  7. Don’t make inappropriate posts anywhere on the Internet (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.). It does matter and employers will do a search to check your on-line presence.
  8. Don’t wake-up Monday morning with nothing planned for the week ahead. It will be difficult to stay motivated with nothing to pull you forward. Build momentum as you move through the job search process. The more skilled you become, the more opportunities you can target. Plan and schedule your time at least three weeks out. Incorporate networking opportunities and get out from behind the computer.
  9. Don’t show-up to interviews without proper preparation. Interviewers know when you have not prepared or when you are not being truthful. Preparation leads to success.
  10. Don’t get into a rut. Monitor your results to maximize your efforts and adjust your course as you learn new approaches. Try new things and change it up to identify best practices. Get engaged and active in the whole process. Sitting in front of a computer is a passive approach.

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”Benjamin Franklin


For more information, job search assistance, workshops, resources, hiring events, and much more, visit

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