Career Corner
Home > Career Corner: Resumes > 12 Deadly Sins That Kill a Job Search

12 Deadly Sins That Kill a Job Search

Pongo Resume Reveals the Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass, March 24, 2008 — Pongo Resume, the premier full-service online resume-building resource that provides a suite of online tools to help job seekers market and manage their career, reveals the twelve deadly sins routinely committed by the average job seeker when conducting a job search.

“In these uncertain economic times, when there is no shortage of prospects for potential employers, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to every single detail throughout the job search process,” said Michael Neece, chief strategy officer at Pongo. “To successfully land the job you desire, be aware of these common job search mistakes, which are easily avoided with a little extra effort.”

Pongo shares the 12 Deadly Sins that can stop a job search dead in its tracks:


  1. Not customizing your resume for each job submittal: Each resume you submit should be tailored to the position, highlighting those dimensions of your background that are most important to the job.
  2. Only using job boards to search for opportunities: The least effective way to find a job is by applying to job listings on job boards. Other, more useful tactics for identifying job opportunities include networking with colleagues, targeting specific companies, and attending professional association meetings, to name just a few.
  3. Not using a cover letter: Cover letters provide a way to highlight the personal qualities and accomplishments that differentiate you from other applicants. Your cover letter also allows you to draw the reader’s attention to the parts of your background that are most applicable to the specific job.
  4. Not following up on resumes and interviews: Professional follow-through on resume submittals and interviews helps set you apart, puts your name in front of the hiring authorities, and demonstrates your interest in the company and position.
  5. Not taking extra copies of your resume and cover letter to each interview: Interviewers are notorious for forgetting to bring your resume to the interview, so demonstrate your preparedness by taking extra copies for them. You may also meet people who have not seen your resume before.
  6. Lying on your resume ? or at any point in the hiring process: Lying is very high risk, both during the selection process and after you get hired. Many people have been fired for lying on their resumes, even after years of high job performance. Positive spin is good; lying is bad.
  7. Putting personal information on your resume: Personal data is irrelevant to the hiring process. Companies are governed by law to not discriminate based on personal characteristics or circumstances. Listing personal information on your resume, which used to be standard, is now viewed as unprofessional.
  8. Using too many fonts and text effects on your resume: A resume must be easy to read and understand. Use no more than two fonts – one is best. It’s good to highlight specific words in your resume by making them bold, but you should generally avoid underlining or heavy use of italics, which can affect scan ability. 

  9. Not preparing intellectually and emotionally for interviews: The interview is the most important moment in your job search and as such, it requires solid intellectual and emotional preparation. Researching the company is just the beginning. Research the background of the people you will meet (use the corporate web site or online profiles). Practice answering the most common interview questions, and the questions you fear most. Prepare five questions you will ask during the interview. Finally, get yourself in the most resourceful and positive mood for the interview. Candidates perform their best when feeling spectacular.
  10. Not sending a thank you note after interviews: Send a thank you note to every interviewer. This one technique demonstrates your professionalism and interest, and can make the difference between getting and not getting an offer.

  11. Disclosing unflattering data on social network profiles: Many employers check social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) for additional data about potential employees. Review your online profiles and disclose only professional and positive information.
  12. Not pre-qualifying your references: Make certain your references are absolutely comfortable providing a stellar recommendation for you.

For additional tips and information, visit

About Pongo: Pongo Resume is a premier full-service online resume-building resource that provides a suite of tools to help job seekers market and manage their career. Pongo generates over 100,000 resumes per month through its 4+ million registered users and has in excess of ½ million unique visitors per month. The company is privately held and headquartered in Northborough, Massachusetts. For more information, visit or call 1-866-486-4660.

Contact: Diane Coffey; Kel & Partners; 508.366.2099, ext.117; Cell: 508.259.9584;


Ready To Jump Start Your Job Search?
Looking for Help with Your Job Search?
Pongo has been helping Job Seekers for over 10 years. If you think our articles are great, try our Resume Builder, Letter Builder and Exclusive Interview Strategy Videos! Our easy-to-use tools and expert advice have helped over 70% of our Members get the job they want! Learn More »
Like what you see?
Join over 4.6 million Pongo Members — and let us help you land your dream job.
Pongo Raves
Hear What Our Customers Are Saying
Deanna, Shari, Mark and Anthony talk about their job search challenges and how Pongo helped them get the jobs that changed their lives.
Learn More About Pongo
More Success Stories