Avoid these embarrassing job hunting mistakes.Unsatisfied in your current position?  Ready to take your career to the next level?

Whatever your reason for embarking on a job search, don’t fall into these embarrassing job hunting traps:

Applying to the Wrong Positions
We all have hopes and dreams, but be realistic about your job prospects.  If you can’t correlate any of your experience to a position, chances are you’re not going to make the cut.

Applying for jobs that you are unqualified for is like crying wolf – you risk getting overlooked by annoyed recruiters when the right match does come along.

Instead of applying for jobs that you are not a fit for, enhance your skills through education, volunteer opportunities, and broadening your responsibilities in your current position.

Leaving Your Social Media Profiles Unattended
It’s not just a rumor – corporate and agency recruiters really are checking out candidates online.  If you are considering entering the job search, take a second look at your social media profiles.

Keeping your posts and pictures on the professional side is common sense, but having a presence online is just as important.

Tarnishing Your Reputation
It IS a small world afterall, and you would be surprised how often your reputation precedes you – through fellow employees and your industry network.  You may be ready to shake the dust of your current employer off your boots – but resist the urge to do anything that could harm your reputation and ruin your chances of getting the job.

Letting Certifications Expire
If you’re looking to get back on the job market, it’s time to polish up your credentials.  Employers will check up on your qualifications, and a lapse in your certifications makes it easy for them to pass you over for another candidate with all of the right documentation.

Failing to Proofread Correspondence
Trigger-happy job seekers will regret shooting off an email riddled with grammar errors and spelling mistakes.  While you may not be sloppy and unprofessional, emails filled with errors give that impression to employers.  It’s always a good idea to take a second look before clicking “send.”

Arriving Uninformed
Failure to research a prospective employer or the position you applied to can make you look unprofessional and ill-prepared.  You don’t need to do an indepth investigation, but it is important to know what they do, what industries they serve, and who their customers are.  GlassDoor is a great place to check out company culture, reviews and salary ranges.

Dragging Your Feet to Follow Up
Following up after a phone screen or interview demonstrates that you are truly interested in the job.  Employers expect candidates to follow-up, and because we are connected 24/7 through mobile, there’s no excuse not to act quickly.  While a hand written thank you note is a nice touch, don’t neglect sending off a quick email to tell interviewers that you are the right person for the job, and appreciate their time.

Like it or not, securing your next position is based on reputation and first impressions.  Avoid these rookie mistakes to get the job and advance your career.