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Career Zone

Career Zone is a monthly career column written for Drexel alumni by Julia Levy '93. Julia is a strategic communications and staffing leader with experience in corporate communications, brand management and recruiting. Find out more about Julia below.

In the podcast below, find out more about Career Zone directly from Julia:

Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to

Oops! You Did It Again:
Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make
October 2011

While no one has a completely error-free job search, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure you don't make some of the most common mistakes. Here are a few to consider during your job search:

Don't apply for a job just to apply for a job! You should only apply to those positions in which you meet the minimum qualifications AND that you have interest in. Your time is valuable and sending out résumés to companies you don't want to work for, or jobs in which you are clearly over or under-qualified isn't productive. Fine tune your job search and only submit an application for the positions in which you have the best chance of getting an interview.

Don't "wing it" during the interview…be prepared. Do your research on the job, company and hiring manager. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have to beat the competition. Come to the interview with thoughtful open-ended questions such as: "What are the top three initiatives the person in this role would be involved in?" or "Why is this position open?"

Don't sit by the phone waiting for it to ring. You have to make things happen for yourself. Submitting your résumé through a job board and waiting for a recruiter to call you isn't going to pay the bills. Get on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook and connect with people who work for that employer.

Don't over-share. The hiring manager does not need to know that you had trouble finding a babysitter so you could come to the interview, or how your car broke down. Keep your private life private. The interview process is when you sell your assets, skills and how you can help them achieve their goals and objectives, not on when you give them TMI (Too Much Information). Also be sure to check your privacy settings on social media sites. Recruiters and hiring managers don't need to see how drunk you were at your cousin's wedding.

Don't forget, you aren't alone. Ask for help! One of the smartest moves a job seeker can make is to ask his or her network for help. If you don't reach out to your network for assistance in your job search, you are significantly decreasing your chances of landing your dream job.

Don't forget to reward yourself. Don't chain yourself to your laptop during your job search. You need to take care of yourself by taking occasional breaks, exercise or have a meal out with a friend or loved one.

Don't forget to say thank you. Be sure to send a thank you note to everyone you meet with during the interview process. Personalize the note with something that you discussed during your interview and make sure to sell yourself and explain why you would be a good fit for the team/role/company.

Now that you know some of the pitfalls and common mistakes people make during their job search, you can take steps to avoid them.