The five critical habits to immediately stop doing in your job hunting strategies

Finding a new job can sometimes be a long, hard process. Developing bad habits can make it much worse. If you have any of these bad habits in your job hunting strategies it’s recommended you stop doing them immediately. You can replace them with these five job search strategies instead.

Phone on table

Hitting the “Quick Apply” Button

Never click the “quick,” “auto,” or “easy” apply button! Almost every job board these days has some version of this button, and it feels good to push it. Pushing that button makes you feel accomplished and will allow you to cross “apply for jobs” off your to-do list for the day, but it’s not worth it.

These types of applications are usually pretty popular, so you’ll find that these jobs typically have a lot of competition. To make matters worse, they usually end up sharing a link to your profile instead of your resume, making it harder for HR people to sort through the pile. The harder it is for employers and hiring managers to sort through a large group of applicants, the faster they tend to go, and the easier it is to be skipped over or eliminated for a minor detail. This is 100%, not the most ideal format for anyone to be seeing your application. More on LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” feature here.

Instead, I recommend going to the company’s website and applying from there. If for some reason they only have the application available via an “easy apply” on a job board, I recommend sending a follow-up email to someone at the company to help you stand out.

Stop sign

Applying for jobs that you don’t want

This seems obvious, but we’ve all done it. Maybe it’s because you need a quick win and would love to say you applied to a certain number of jobs today, or maybe the application just looked too easy to not throw your hat in the ring and see what happens.

No matter what reason you may have for doing it, never apply for a job that you don’t want. Filling out the application is a waste of time and if you end up getting an interview, you’re going to have to decline – or, even worse, you might end up doing the interview and waste even more time.

More on why people apply for jobs they don’t want here.

People watching tv

Doing Job Applications While Watching TV

This might be the worst job-hunting habit you can have. Applying for jobs while watching TV means that you’ll be doing both poorly. The job application you’re working on will take twice as long to do and you run the risk of missing a detail that you might want to address in your application. You can also forget about writing a cover letter or completing an essay. You might be able to pull it off, but I’ll bet it’s not half as good as the cover letter or essay you’d write if you were more focused.

Plus, every time you look back up at the TV you’ll have to ask yourself, “Who’s that?” or “What’s going on here?”

Do your job applications, then watch TV. I promise the application won’t take that long and that episode of Gilmore Girls isn’t going anywhere.

Advice on cutting back on TV time here.

Frustrated women on laptop

Not applying because you’re “underqualified”

I just landed an incredible job…and if you ask me, I’m underqualified. My new employers don’t seem to agree, but I’m pretty certain that I am.

I’m suffering from what some would call imposter syndrome and if you’re struggling to apply for jobs that you feel underqualified for, then you may be suffering from it too.

Imposter syndrome is extremely common. Everyone feels like they don’t know what they’re doing from time to time. That includes managers and even the people hiring you!

The fact of the matter is, when a job description asks for 2-3 years of experience, it’s not always a deal-breaker. If you’re a good cultural fit and the hiring manager thinks you can contribute, you’re a good candidate. Any successful job hunting strategies will encourage applications that seem to be a little out of your reach. Don’t underplay what skills you can bring to an organization.

Now that doesn’t mean that your resume won’t get tossed out from time to time, but depending on what the rest of your application looks like, if you’re right for a role, someone will reach out to you.

Water droplets on glass

Any good job hunting strategies will still lead to rejection letters time-to-time

No one likes being rejected, but it’s going to happen. If you’re filling out the number of job applications that you’ll need to be successful, then you’re going to be receiving your fair share of rejection letters. Don’t let them discourage you. It’s all a part of the process.

Below are some of the negative side effects of letting rejection letters get you down…

  • Not wanting to apply for more jobs
  • Avoiding jobs that you feel underqualified for
  • Spending too much time figuring out why you didn’t get a job
  • Frequently or prematurely overhauling your job-hunting strategy
  • Frequently or prematurely changing the types of jobs you’re applying for
  • Applying for jobs that you don’t want
  • Hitting the “Easy Apply” button

If you notice that you’re falling into any of these negative habits, it’s time to take a breath and remember what rejection letters really mean.

Receiving a rejection letter just means that you’re not a good fit for that role. If you’re not a good fit, then in all likelihood you wouldn’t have been happy in the role anyway. If you look at it that way, each rejection letter is helping you get closer to a role where you would be a good fit, so don’t let them get you down. Keep on applying!

Are you ready to drop these five bad job search habits and kick-start your career? If you want to build the in-demand skills necessary for today’s market learn more about Acadium digital apprenticeships. Create a profile to begin matching with mentors


Jack Chacon headshot 

Jack Chacon is a recent Acadium Plus Accelerator graduate who just landed his dream job as a Brand Manager at 20nine in Philadelphia. He loves connecting with people on LinkedIn and is always excited to chat about marketing, entrepreneurship, and his experience at Acadium. Feel free to reach out!