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Make Any of These Ten Mistakes, and You Won't Get That Job

written by: Mike White•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 10/17/2011

Are you having trouble finding a job? If so, following are ten ways not to get hired - it might be the case that you're making one of these mistakes. How many of these things are you guilty of? Learn what you should never do in your job search and how to put your best foot forward instead.

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    Ten Common Mistakes People Make that Can Keep Them From Being Hired

    In today's economy finding a good job can be tough, even if one has the necessary job and educational qualifications for a particular position. There are so many people out of work that many qualified people apply for the same position. If you are making any of the following common mistakes when you apply for a job, you may be hindering your chances of getting a job. There is no doubt there are many other mistakes people make as well, but these ten are some of the most common and worse mistakes that job seekers make that many people who do hiring have mentioned.

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    Mistake Number One: Applying for a Job You Want but Are Not Remotely Qualifed For

    Many people apply for a job they have dreamed about. Sometimes they work hard by going to college, getting an internship to get the necessary experience, or in other ways prepare themselves for that position. Others, however, try to fulfill that dream by applying for their dream job long before they have nearly all the job skills listed in an employment ad, or the educational skills. They think they know what the job will actually require and spend a lot of time on a cover letter explaining why the job does not require all the skills listed. Why waste your time, even for your dream job? You won’t get hired.

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    Mistake Number Two: Lying

    Many people lie on their job application or resume, wrongly believing nobody will adequately check their backgrounds. In fact, in 2008, the website, Career Builder, found that 49 percent of hiring managers actually did find a lie on a resume or heard one in an interview. A total of 57% of those who found lies refused to consider those job applicants. It is far better to stress one's strength in an application letter, resume, or an interview. If there is something unpleasant in your background, explain it honestly. In fact, the old saying, “honesty is the best policy," is right.

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    Mistake Number Three: Being a Namedropper

    That doesn't mean to not mention that you know somebody who works for the company you want to work for or positive things he has said about the company. Doing that can make you and interviewer both feel more at ease. It does mean don't tell the interviewer you know his mother, father, the company president, or somebody else in a position of authority, and expect him to be impressed. That won't get you the job if you don't have the skills necessary for the position. The hiring manager will naturally look on you with skepticism.

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    Mistake Number Four: Speaking Evil of Your Current or Most Recent Boss

    This might seem obvious to some people, but many people still do tell an interviewer what a big jerk their current boss is or their most recent employer was. In 2009, Career Builder mentioned this as one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make. Naturally, if you do this the hiring manager will wonder if you a hard worker, can get along with people, and like to blame others for your mistakes. He may wonder if you will be difficult to work with in the position you are seeking. Instead, turn a negative into positive. Don't speak evil of your coworkers. Tell how you want to work in a team environment, and mention that your current job doesn't allow for that.

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    Mistake Number Five: Asking About the Drinking on the Job Policy

    Why would anyone do this? Some people do. Whatever you do, don't make this mistake. You will immediately lose your chance of being hired. The hiring manager will wonder about many things if you do this. He might legitimately question your judgment. When someone does that, a person has lost his chance of getting any job. He might wonder if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, which might cause you to miss a lot of work, or be late. He might wonder if your drinking would lead to a poor work performance.

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    Mistake Number Six: Failing to Spell Check a Resume or Cover Letter

    Many people actually make this common mistake. Maybe they think they are expert proofreaders, wrongly believing they can catch any mistake on a resume or cover letter. They believe they don’t need to do a spell or grammar check. Perhaps they think they just don't have time and will catch anything that is not correct when they read through it carefully. Regardless why they don't take the time, many job seekers have actually failed to get an interview or job because of this. It actually doesn’t take long to check everything over carefully, or even have a second person also proofread a document.

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    Mistake Number Seven: Criticizing Technology A Company Uses

    If you criticize technology you know little or nothing about, you may actually be speaking evil of a program the company uses. You may not even understand why the company would use such software, but you have never worked there, have not experienced the job situations workers do, have not seen how the software employees works when there is a deadline. You may believe the kind of accounting software you are familiar with is superior to a software you think is "outdated," but you may not know how it works during "crunch" time. You will only truly understand why that company uses that software if you get the job and use it yourself.

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    Mistake Number Eight: Failing to Prove Job Skills With Examples

    When you are ready to go for a job interview, be prepared to give examples of how you have performed under pressure that is similar to what workers experience in the company you want to work for. Tell how you have saved the company you are working for or recently worked for money. Demonstrate how you made things operate in a more efficient manner. If you can't do these things, all the confidence you express about how well you can perform may just seem like empty words.

    A total of 35% of employers have said this is the worst mistake a job seeker can make.

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    Mistake Number Nine: Bringing Up Salary Before the Potential Employer Does

    In general, it is not good to ask what your salary will be before the interviewer mentions this. It may look like you are only interested in how much money you can make, not how you can help his company. If the subject does come up, however, be honest about how much money you have made, even if you think that will hinder your chances of getting the job. The interviewer will be able to find out anyway.

    If you are asked how much you want to make and you can truthfully say you know the company has a good reputation, and you are certain their usual rate is fair, you can say that. Otherwise, answer the question with a fair amount.

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    Mistake Number Ten: Acted Bored or Cocky in a Job Interview

    Many hiring managers say acting bored or cocky is one of the worst mistakes a job seeker can make. A little enthusiasm never hurts.

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    If You Make Any of the Mistakes Listed in this Article, You Probably Won't be Hired

    If you have ever been guilty of any of these ten ways to not get hired, you probably didn't get the job you applied for. These are only some of the common mistakes job seekers make. There are many others. It is always good to use commons sense in a job interview, when filling out a job application, preparing a resume, or a cover letter. When you are being interviewed, there are signs which will show you whether or not the interviewer went well.

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