3 Costly Mistakes Keeping You Stuck In Your Job Search

These mistakes could be standing in the way of your next job offer.

Why is it that some people seem to get new jobs just by blinking their eyes? While others stay stuck at the same job and struggle for months, even years to get job offers?

(Hint: It’s not because they’re better than you or know more people than you.)

You know you’re good at what you do, you get compliments at work, you have results on results to prove it, so why aren’t the job offers rolling in?

These mistakes could be standing in the way of your next job offer.
These mistakes could be standing in the way of your next job offer.  PEXELS

You could be the smartest, most experienced job candidate, but if you don’t know how to properly apply and position yourself as an asset, you’ll always be scrolling through Indeed at work, constantly checking your inbox, with no job offers in sight.

After coaching successful and experienced young professionals in a variety of industries on how to secure their dream jobs, here are three mistakes that may be keeping you stuck in your job search:


You assume others get it.

You know you’re good at what you do so you assume hiring managers will notice it too. You assume your mentors and network will know exactly what you’re looking for next and how to help you. You assume your resume will speak for itself. You assume people already know exactly why you’re a good fit for the roles you want.

And, your assumptions are keeping you stuck in your job search. You leave relevant details about yourself out of your resumes and interviews and fail to show 100% of your capabilities. You reach out to mentors and go to networking events and tell them you’re “looking for new opportunities,” instead of being clear and specific about your career goals and next steps. As a result, you end up feeling like you’re not good enough for what you want to do next when the real problem is that you’re not telling people why you’re good enough for the roles you want to do next. Stop assuming, start telling.


You’re applying to the wrong jobs.

You apply to jobs you don’t want, that aren’t what you really want to do, or that you’re way too overqualified for and hiring managers know it too. No amount of experience can convince a hiring manager to hire you for a role they know is not for you.

Here are a few signs you’re applying to the wrong jobs: you apply for the position and the hiring manager responds telling you they’d love to speak with you about a few other roles that might be an excellent fit for you. You go into an interview and the hiring manager blatantly or covertly tells you you’re overqualified for the role. You look at job descriptions and recognize that you won’t be challenged at all, but decide to apply anyway.

Of course, these are more obvious signs. But, the worst is not hearing back from hiring managers at all because they looked at your resume and thought, “She seems amazing, but not for this.”

Applying to the wrong jobs is a sure way to prolong your job search and drain your confidence. You need to get clear on the type of roles you should be applying for so that you can have a better chance of positioning yourself as a top candidate for those roles.


You’re reactive rather than proactive.

You don’t have a proven strategy to turn applications into interviews and interviews into job offers. You wait for job openings to pop up online. You wait for recruiters to reach out to you on LinkedIn. You wait for interviewers to spot your weakness before you address it, instead of leveraging your experience. You wait and you wait and you wait.

Because of this, you end up constantly starting over from square one, unsure of what you’re doing wrong. You need to know how to take smart action to get your next position. You need to know how to tap into the hidden job market, how to reach out to real humans, and how to proactively set yourself apart. Without knowing how to do these things, you’ll always approach your job search hoping something pops up and hoping someone takes a chance on you.

You may feel like you have phenomenal experience and a great track record, but if you assume others know that, apply to the wrong jobs and wait for opportunities to fall into your lap, your job search will last a lot longer than necessary. This is the reason top candidates avoid making these mistakes, and why you should too. Get clear on which of these mistakes are derailing your job search so that you can finally transition into a new and fulfilling role.


Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Grab her free guide.

Originally published at Forbes