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5 signs you’re giving off that show you’re too desperate for a job

Deanna Hartley, CareerBuilder writer

Job hunting can feel like a full-time job itself, and it’s easy to get discouraged and try to settle — but don’t. A stronger job market means you should be hopeful that your next great job is around the corner. But as you boldly move forward in your job search, make sure you’re avoiding these signs that wreak of desperation.

  • You follow up too frequently. We know: Employers don’t have a great record when it comes to being responsive during the hiring process. In fact, CareerBuilder’s recent Candidate Experience Study found that the biggest frustration for job seekers is a lack of response from employers — cited by 52 percent of all job seekers. Additionally, 81 percent of job seekers say employers communicating continuous status updates would greatly improve their overall candidate experience. So you’re not alone in your frustration. However, appearing overly eager (and even coming across as annoying) can get on their nerves. Be cautious when exercising the balance between being diligent with follow-ups and going overboard. Try these tips to follow up the right way.
  • You apply to multiple positions at the same company. Employers want you to know what your next career move is going to be, instead of just guessing. If you apply to multiple jobs at the same company at the same time, you will not only appear to be desperate to gain employment by any means, but also unfocused with no clear idea of what you actually want to do next. So pick a path and highlight your skills that show why you’re a great fit.
  • You’re willing to accept any salary. Any self-respecting professional worth their salt will do their homework to understand their worth in the marketplace. While it’s good to be a little flexible in terms of your salary expectations, there is always room for negotiation with a potential employer. Do your homework on what the average salary for your role should be, and feel confident in offering a range for your salary expectations. And sometimes, if a higher salary is not really an option, inquire about these perks to make up for it.
  • You don’t care what your title will be. Willing to compromise your title is not a bad thing — but make sure the move will not jeopardize your career. While there is no one path, you’ll just want to ensure that, whether you’re moving laterally or cross-departmentally, you’re moving toward your ultimate career goal and that the title change isn’t going to set you back.
  • You don’t ask questions. Employers want to have a two-sided conversation with you during the interview. We get it, you wouldn’t be interviewing with a company if you didn’t think it was great, but you don’t need to spend the entire time generating a flood of compliments without asking some good, hard questions. Ask what the culture is like, ask why employees stay, ask about benefits plans, inquire about career pathing, ask about their competitive differentiators and anything else that may offer you insights into what it’d be like to work there.

Looking for ways you can stand out in your job search? We asked recruitment and career experts what makes one candidate stand out over the others — here’s what they said.

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