The Biggest Job Hunting Mistake You Can Make And How To Avoid It

Written by Nick Leffler | Comments Off on The Biggest Job Hunting Mistake You Can Make And How To Avoid It | 5 min read

The marketplace for jobs is getting better everyday for employees, every day slightly easier to find openings. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a new job, though. You don’t want to make the most common job hunting mistake either.

Even in the most stable job markets, looking for a job is unpredictable and keeping a job is a hope at best. You could believe your job is secure after 15 years of loyalty but that’s not the case these days. Companies are only loyal to their stock holders so you have to do what’s best for you.

Besides, you wouldn’t want to be caught off guard one day when the company decides to reorganize. Before I get into the big job hunting mistake let’s take a look at what looking for a job involves.

Looking For A Job

Looking for a job is never easy and nobody really enjoys doing it (or maybe you do?). I know I sure don’t enjoy looking for a job. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re employed or unemployed either, there’s no joy in being a job seeker.

OK, maybe there’s one joy. The joy that there is hope in the future for something better.

What goes into looking for a job after you’ve just been laid off or decide you’re ready to move to a new company?

Here are a some of the priorities when you start looking for a job:

  • Update your résumé.
  • Review your LinkedIn profile.
  • Update your portfolio and find projects to use.
  • Contact some of your connections and let them know your intentions.
  • Search job boards.
  • Set up automatic job searches.
  • Scour the Internet.

That’s a lot to do when you already have the stress of being jobless. Many of the items from that list can’t be done quickly either. They take time and time is the last thing you have when you need to get a job quickly to pay your bills.

Now that you’re reminded just how complex and stressful looking for a job is, it’s time to put it together with the biggest job hunting mistake people make.

The Biggest Job Hunting Mistake

There’s only one big mistake you can make when hunting for a new job. It all comes down to job hunting taking time, connections, and patience.

The biggest job hunting mistake you can make is to wait until you’re looking for a job to prepare.

Everything on the list takes time or requires a lot of work to prepare for. Your résumé and LinkedIn is easy to update in a relatively short time.

Don't wait until you have no job to prepare looking for another job. Click To Tweet

Updating your portfolio is more difficult. If your job has something you can show in a portfolio, it’s a must have. Here’s the problem, if you haven’t prepared your portfolio ahead of time then you might be out of luck. You can’t very well contact your previous employer asking if you can use a project after you’re already laid off. I’ll get into how to mitigate that in the next section.

Even if you don’t have anything to put into a portfolio, you could probably benefit from a blog. Standing out from a competitive job seeker market is hard. A blog and/or portfolio can help you do that.

Contacting the connections you have and letting them know you’re in the market is easy. What if you haven’t taken the time before looking to network, though? That will put you in a tough position if all your connections are inside your current company.

Everything else on the list you can only really start doing when you’re actively looking for a job. Mitigating the biggest job hunting mistake shouldn’t be a problem, though, with preparation and a change in mindset.

How To Mitigate

It’s time to change the mindset of your career. To mitigate the biggest job hunting mistake you just need to have the mindset of always being in the market for a job.

That doesn’t mean you need to always be looking, though. You just need to have that mindset of a job seeker. Always keep your résumé and LinkedIn profile updated. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time either, just 30 minutes a month to check/update and you’re set.


The most important place to prepare is in your portfolio or blog. When you finish an awesome project at work, ask if you can use it on your portfolio. Most managers will be okay with it as long as you scrub any personal or branded information.

Don't seek a job only when you're jobless. Have the mindset of always looking. Click To Tweet

Blogging also takes a lot of time. Show you’re a leader in your industry by writing regularly. You can’t do that in a few weeks so it’s best to get started now. There’s nothing better than to refer a potential hiring manager to your blog or even make a new connection through it.


As for your network. This one takes the most time because you can’t rush relationships. It takes time to make connections and foster them into business relationships. Start by talking with people on social media from your industry. Make connections and join groups for your industry. Your job influence and connections should come from others in your industry but not in your company.

With a small change in mentality you can create security for your career. It’s not possible to rely on a company for job security so you have to take it into your own hands.

When you’ve changed to a job seeking mentality, you’ll have the framework in place for when you are in the market for a new job.

A Place To Change

As you make the switch to your mindset, you’ll need a place to do it. Building your personal brand online is a great start and there are several options for building your personal brand online.

Helping yourself stand out from everyone else on the job search relies initially off making a great first impression. There’s nothing better than a first impression from a website that showcases your skills. I’ve built a course that will help you build a personal brand website that will set you apart from others.

You’ll be on your way to avoiding making the biggest job hunting mistake.

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