5 common mistakes made while job hunting
Image: Pexels

FINDING the perfect job can be a difficult and frustrating process. One thing that can make it even more difficult is if you're making common mistakes while searching for a job. In this post we'll discuss five of these mistakes and how to avoid them!

Not researching the company

You should always research the company before applying for a job. This is especially true if you're applying for a position at a large corporation or organisation that has multiple offices across many different states/countries. It's also important to understand what type of culture exists within each department, who you'll be working with (and possibly reporting to), and what skills are needed for success in the role.

Not tailoring your résumé to the job description

The first step in the job hunt is to read through a company's job description, and then make sure that you are highlighting relevant skills and experience on your résumé. If you don't know what the job description is, ask someone who works there! It's important to tailor your résumé for each position for which you apply — you don't want them thinking, "This person seems like they would be good at this other thing too."

Being too informal or too formal in e-mails

• You may come across as being cold and distant if you're too formal in your e-mails.

• If they think that you aren't serious about the job they will be less likely to take a chance on hiring you.

It's also important to remember that e-mail is a medium through which tone and context are lost. That means you need to be extra careful about how you write, especially if you know that the other person has a different cultural background than yours.

Not previously knowing who you know within the company/industry of interest

Knowing someone in the company or industry of interest can be a huge help when going on interviews. If you don't know anyone personally, it's important to find someone who knows someone. In today's world of social media and networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, connecting with others is easier than ever before.

It's also important to remember that not every job opening is posted publicly on websites like Monster or Indeed; sometimes hiring managers post openings directly on their company websites or send them out via e-mail blasts (e-mail signature blocks) within their industry network groups, such as those found at www[.]linkedin[.]com

Listing every job you've ever had on your résumé, even if irrelevant to the position for which you are applying

Including every job you've ever had on your résumé is a mistake. You don't need to include every single position you've ever held, especially if it's unrelated to the industry to which you are applying. In addition, including irrelevant jobs can make it appear as though you have no sense of direction and don't know what kind of career path suits your needs best.

If there are any jobs that seem completely irrelevant or unrelated to the position for which you're applying (for example, applying for an entry-level position at an accounting firm with only one year experience in retail), then it's best not to include those positions at all.

It's important to know as much as possible about the company you're applying for, especially if it's a large one. You don't want to waste your time applying for jobs and going through all of the steps just to find out that it wasn't a good fit. Know what the company's mission statement is, who some of its key players are, and how long the organisation has been around in general (this can give insight into how stable the company may be).

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to job hunting. You need to tailor your strategy and tactics to the position you're applying for, and take into account the needs of the company or organisation. Be strategic about how you present yourself in order to stand out from other candidates — and don't forget about who knows whom!

Courtanae Heslop is chief executive officer at Online Jobs Agency.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?