Your attitude towards your job search can do more harm than you think. In fact, a self-defeating attitude can limit your ability to market your value and keep you from being a viable candidate.

The way you view your search can have an astonishing effect on your results.

“No one ever returns my calls.”
“I’m tired of sending out resumes and getting rejection letters.”
“How can I always be either over-qualified or under-qualified?”
“I never get to the second interview.”

If these statements sound familiar, you could be defeating yourself. These types of statements lay the groundwork for negativity to influence your attitude and affect your energy level.

A job search is stressful and disrupts your life as it impacts your finances and your routine. The good news is the most important hiring factor is something you can control: The way you perceive your efforts. Employers weigh attitude very carefully when making a hiring decision, and being likable accounts for at least 80% of the selection process.

The longer a job search lasts the more likely you will encounter some of these self-defeating behaviors. Being aware of these pitfalls can help you identify these problems before they impact your job search.

Procrastination: Don’t give yourself a reason to put things off, especially those tasks that are out of your comfort zone. These might include following up on leads and applications or expanding and developing your networking connections.

Being too narrow focused: Have you really examined all the positions where you could transfer your skills? Setting goals that are too rigid can limit your opportunities. Rethink your transferable skills.

A close-minded attitude: What worked in past job searches may not work this time around. If you find yourself working with one job-search technique – such as relying on advertised jobs – consider new activities, such as informational interviewing.

Having unrealistic expectations: Too often we set expectations based on wishes rather than reality. Expecting to land a job in a couple of weeks or expecting a recruiter to find employment for you may be signs you need to expand your job-search activities.

Being too embarrassed to ask for help: Staying isolated from people can be very defeating. Asking for help is a sign of maturity. It can be a humbling experience, but asking for help helps you gain confidence that you are not the only one affected by a job search. Be clear about how people can help.

Underestimating yourself: Too often people do not sell their value to the employer. During an interview, focus on what you can do for an employer. A job posting is a wish list, and if you match at least 75% of the qualifications, consider applying. Avoid thinking about the reasons you can’t do the job.

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