Not getting the job offers you want and don’t know why? You might be missing out on one of these opportunities.

Doing everything right doesn’t guarantee you a coveted job. Sometimes what you aren’t doing could be responsible for ruining your chance of being hired. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)

Are you making any of these of these career mistakes?

1. Not Googling yourself

It’s no secret potential employers do Google searches before interviewing a job candidate, yet many people skip the necessary step of finding out what search engines say about them. Research prevents you from looking unprepared if an interviewer references something they found online.

If you’re looking for a job, monitor your online presence. Whether the search yields positive results that make you look professional or YouTube karaoke videos that make you question your choice in both songs and friends, it’s important you know what’s out there.

If you’re job searching outside your city, try changing the search engine location to the city where you’re applying for jobs for more targeted results.

2. Not fixing your online reputation

Let’s say you Googled your name and didn’t like what you saw. Or maybe the first few results were other people who share your name, and you want that coveted first spot. What now?

It isn’t enough to simply know what potential employers see when they search for you. Controlling your online reputation takes work, but it’s worth the effort.

Use search engine optimization (SEO) practices to boost the rankings for your name. Simple SEO strategies can point potential employers in the right direction and boost your resume at the same time.

Monitoring your social media is a must, but taking these extra SEO steps can help you be proactive about your personal branding.

3. Not scouting out the location beforehand

Location is important for job searching and overall career fulfillment. Before driving to an interview, scout out the location with a practice run or online search. Being late can make a bad first impression, but rushing is also dangerous.

Your nerves may be all over the place on the day of the interview, so familiarize yourself with where you’re going. And drive carefully. You don’t want to get in an accident on your way.

Before taking a job in a new location, think through every element. A longer commute might not be a big deal to some, but it could be a total deal breaker for others. Factor in your personal preferences before deciding.

4. Not doing enough research

A quick glance at the company website isn’t likely to impress an employer. Before interviewing, do real research about the company, the interviewer and the industry.

Social media profiles, for the company or the interviewer, can give you a glimpse into company culture. Having a good idea of how the company brands itself, its notable achievements and pertinent industry news will give you plenty to talk (and ask) about in the interview.

5. Not asking enough questions

Nothing says “uninterested” like getting to the end of a job interview and not asking any questions. How can you prove you want a job if you don’t have a single question about the position or company?

Even if many of your questions were answered during the course of the conversation, you should still have some additional inquiries.

Come prepared with a list of potential questions. Having them ready beforehand can help if the excitement of the interview causes you to momentarily blank.

6. Not taking notes

Politely asking at the beginning of the interview if you can take notes can showcase your organization and drive.

You don’t have to write down every last word, but jotting a few notes after an interviewer answers one of your questions can be immensely helpful. Not only does it show your interest; it can also help you retain key knowledge from the interview after the adrenaline wears off.

7. Not sending a handwritten “thank you”

Your interview notes will come in handy when composing a handwritten thank you note. Sure, you could send an email, but writing is more personal.

You want to be memorable. Emails can get lost in the shuffle, but a well-worded card or note can leave a longer-lasting impression — and hopefully lead to a job offer.

Erin Palmer is a digital content specialist, proud member of GenY and huge fan of handwritten notes. She’s been published in The Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post, yet she still gets excited every time she sees her byline. Interaction with readers makes her day, so reach out to her on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.


  1. Jewel Bracy DeMaio

    would work better for you? Searching for jobs online for months and
    months? Or minimizing the search time and maximizing your success? Would
    it make a difference for you if you no longer had to search endlessly
    and fruitlessly, but instead the right people and the right
    opportunities found you? – See more

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  3. Bill

    In a recent round of interviews, only one candidate mailed a hand-written thank-you. The impression it gave me was that she was out-of-touch with the modern world, and was perhaps getting career advice from a moldy book she found a a garage sale.

    • Marty

      Yeah books eh? What are they worth?

    • Patrick

      I truly believe that a hand written -whatever- has that plus value, considering this: how much does it take you to write a letter with your own hands?, moreover let’s think what does it takes to place a letter in the mail box?, on the opposite side how much effort does it takes to send a virtual thank you?, it could even be a copy-littlemodified-paste thank you, click and send. How much time does one person is investing to thank you for your time lent on the interview?

      At the interview (and at the CV) is where to realize if the candidate is out-of-touch with the “modern world”.

  4. richard1941

    Sometimes jobs are advertised that don’t exist because of a hiring freeze or because the job is reserved for an insider and the ad is a mere formality. Check back 6 months. If you see the exact same job advertised, you know they are not serious and you should not waste their time.
    If you get to the hiring manager, you have passed the ultimate barrier: Human Resource goons whose two goals are to prevent anybody from getting a job and to prevent the hiring manager from getting the help he needs.
    Sometimes you can “human engineer” your way around HR and get directly to the manager. But that can lead to nasty internal politics. (I was reprimanded for going around HR to hire a research analyst I needed.) Sometimes HR is constrained by other goals, such as “diversity”, and hiring a qualified applicant that does not meet those goals makes them look bad.

  5. lab seven

    Great! telling some psycho-freak how to hide his psycho behavior he left on the web.
    Then we can hire him (or her) not knowing what a nut job they truly are.

    • Jeff

      That’s a valid point, but there’s another side to SEO. Sometimes it’s about making sure that you are seen instead of somebody else. There happens to be a person with the same name (including a fairly uncommon surname), lives in the same city, and works in the same industry as me. This person has a less than stellar reputation, including a criminal record. If I found myself in a job hunt, part of my strategy would be to push him off the first page of search results.

      • lab seven

        Good point. But I use facebook and the such to make sure I have the right guy (or gal).

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