The Single Biggest Mistake Every Job Seeker Makes


Are you looking for a job? Having a hard time understanding why you’re not getting called back? The job search can be discouraging at times, and sometimes it can be hard if you don’t know why you’re not getting called back. You could be making typical job seeking mistakes. We at CGD have seen our fair share of blunders, so we thought we’d share with you the biggest mistake you can make.

1. The Big Mistake

Asking yourself what the next step is in your career makes sense. Figuring out what you want, and how to get it, also makes sense. But please hear us when we say, you cannot bring this energy to a future employer. Imagine, if you will, putting this in a cover letter or interview:

“I’ve decided that it’s time that I take the next step…”

“My ambition is to become a [specific title]”

These lines are great if you’re in a sales role, or if the position requires you to sell yourself. But beyond that, they’re very me-focused. What can I get from this role? How will the company benefit me? How will I fit the company’s schedule into my life?

Here’s the thing – employers don’t have time to think about how they’re going to impact you. Sure, they don’t want you to be unhappy, but they’re looking to solve a problem by hiring someone who will excel in the role. How you are going to impact them is the question on the table.

If you’re looking for an example of how to make this happen, google Nina Mufleh. She landed a job at Airbnb by doing a complete report on all the places that would benefit their business and tweeted it to the CEO. By the time she got an interview, she had already shown her worth as an employee. Therefore, it was easy to see the innovation she would bring to the company.

2. How can you change your state of mind?

You don’t need to be as industrious as Nina to land your dream job, however, you definitely need to do your research. Learn what the company is all about, its core values and future projects. Then tailor your mindset to think: how could I help with that?

If you’re looking to reframe your mentality, without toning down how ambitious you are, try these lines on for size:

“I read about your company’s environmental initiative in Forbes, and I realized that I could help you achieve your goals. At my last job, I started a recycling initiative…”

“I was hoping to become [specific title] within your company, as I’m excited about the projected growth. For example, I see on your website you’re looking for new PR representation; I have contacts at a few companies that I think you should consider.”

These lines not only show that you’re engaged with the company’s values but also, you’ve given some thought to how you could help them achieve their goals. What more could an employer want?

Good luck, job seekers! We have faith in you.


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  • Caterina Sosso

    100% AGREE!!!

    Caterina |

  • Rasha Buda

    What’s the book she is reading in the photo, it looks interesting ;) thanks for the lovely article

    • It’s The Ultimate Blog Plan available here

  • Jessica Wen

    Really useful when applying for jobs or even work experience because often we always only think about our side of the story, when in fact you’ll be far more attractive if you consider what they want! Valuable insight here :)

  • Máire Mc Sorley

    Great tips shared here on how to carefully approach the company of your dream job.

    Check out this insightful article on career choices for millennials here:

  • Sisi

    This is such great advice! I never thought of it this way, but it totally makes sense!