20 Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

As you begin transitioning out of the military into the civilian world, keep this list handy and be mindful of mistakes to avoid in your job search.

  1. Lack clear goals and a work objective.

  2. Harbor negative and self-defeating "can't do" attitudes.

  3. Misunderstand the sequential nature of a job search.

  4. Engage in several ineffective job search activities.

  5. Fail to network - or network with the wrong people.

  6. Provide little evidence of skills, accomplishments, and a productive pattern of behavior.

  7. Write and send out awful resumes and letters.

  8. Include negative or incomplete information on job applications.

  9. Commit several job interview sins, from arriving late to failing to close the interview properly.

  10. Fail to ask questions, listen, and change interview direction if necessary.

  11. Lack tactfulness and honesty.

  12. Conduct an outdated job search.

  13. Over-rely on technology, especially the Internet.

  14. Avoid taking risks.

  15. Unprepared to handle rejections.

  16. Fail to develop and implement a plan of action.

  17. Exhibit weak follow-up skills.

  18. Try to conduct a job search on your own rather than seek professional help at critical steps in your job search.

  19. Resist changing behaviors and acquiring new habits.

  20. Fail to keep motivated and focused during the job search.

If you add to this list any personal or professional "red flags" in your background, you may have a powerful set of factors working against you in your job search.

SOURCE: Adapted from Military Transition to Civilian Success (Impact Publications) page 34. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.