Top 3 Job Search Pitfalls & How To Avoid Them

Job search does require patience and persistence, but with the right strategies, guidance, and support, it doesn’t have to be as painful as you might think.

Let’s review a few top pitfalls I’ve seen job seekers face, and how to avoid them:

Are you being too transactional?

  • Oftentimes we see applications and even interviews as a ‘check the box’ activity. Rather, I always say, if the career search isn’t fun, the job won’t be either. When you’re networking and interviewing, you should enjoy the conversation. The nature of those conversations are a mirror into the work you’d potentially be doing. So, consider what conversations you’d enjoy having, with whom, and about what? Then, go find those people and see if you can learn from them, as an inroads to uncovering potential openings on their team.

Are you plugging away, heads down?

  • Or are you reflecting on how things are going and iterating your strategy? Oftentimes we think we understand what job search entails, the right strategies and approaches (ie people assume their sole tool is simply applying online), and then we simply pursue that approach. Have you explored and understood the various strategies and best practices you can employ? Self-reflection is key all around to assess what you’re doing, how you’re doing, and where you need to improve. Facilitate your ability to be really honest with yourself at least once per week to ensure you’re iterating, adjusting, and pivoting your efforts in order to strengthen your outcomes. It may help to have a coach to ensure that not only are you employing the right strategies but also that you’re staying accountable to a suggested pace or volume depending on your goal timeline.

Are you clear in what role and industry is the best next step for you or are you applying to a multitude of roles and industries? Are you focusing just on quantity or also quality?

  • If you have too many options, to me that means that you’re not sure which one is the best fit for you, and if you’re not sure what you’re a fit for, why would the interviewer be convinced? People often think you have to apply to a multitude of options in order to increase your volume. Rather, I’d encourage you to identify which role & industry is the best fit for you and then double down on identifying more opportunities that align with that direction. You can and should have both quality and quantity in your job search, not just quantity.

Career coaches are here to help on all of these fronts to help you clarify your ideal direction and efficiently land a role you’ll thrive in. Reach out if I can help! Email: [email protected].

Rachel Serwetz’ early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4 years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School/WeWork, Columbia University, and Project Activate.