The 5 signs you’re a desperate job seeker

Written by: Georgina Bloomfield
Published On: 22 Jul 2016

When it comes to job hunting, many of us will do anything it takes to land the perfect job. If we lose our jobs through redundancy or other means, getting another job as soon as possible becomes a top priority, so we’re even more eager to land that interview. Unfortunately, employers can pick up on your desperation pretty easily, and you may not even be aware of how obvious it’s coming across. If you appear to be desperate then you may lose out on a better salary. Here are the signs that you’re coming across as pretty desperate to an employer:

1. Mentioning how badly you want the job

The most obvious point. If, in an interview, you start harping on about how much the job would mean to you. Phrases such as: ‘I need this job’, ‘this job would really help me out’ and ‘I can’t live without a job like this one’ are the most desperate phrases that come to mind. Just be careful on the theatrics. Mentioning how well the job matches your lifestyle is also a big error. If you keep talking about how close your gym etc. is then it’ll make the employer aware of how much you need this job. If location comes up in small talk however, do feel free to mention it – but don’t go overboard with the emphasis.

2. Mentioning your finances and/or other job search progress (or lack of)

Mentioning such personal things in an interview or cover letter not only makes you come across as totally desperate, but also unprofessional. Employers don’t need to be aware of anything to do with your finances (even your current salary if you don’t want to tell them). As for mentioning your job search, I can’t see how this would bode well for you in an interview. If the interviewer has asked you about it, then they’re the ones being unprofessional. If it’s you who’s bringing it up then you’ll appear as if you want them to take pity on you. It can also insult the interviewer if you discuss other employers you’re interested in/already have interviews with. Just don’t mention either of these things!

3. You’re looking at job ads you know aren’t worth your time

You know that this particular job you’re looking at is in an undesirable location and the salary is (usually) way out of your league. However, you’re going to go for it anyway because you really, really need it. Unfortunately, you’re wasting your time and what’s worse is that you know it. A good job search must be tactical and yes, it is time consuming but it’ll be worth it in the end. You needn’t apply for jobs just for the sake of it. Especially if you’re applying for loads of jobs within one company!

4. You find yourself really trying to please the employer

If, in your interview, you’re willing to say exactly what the employer wants to hear (and it’s not true or you’re aware that you don’t really mean what you’re saying) then you’ve definitely got an air of desperation around you. If you’re always agreeing with whatever the employer is saying and you’re telling them that you can do things that you actually can’t, it’ll only give you trouble further down  the line; especially if you get the job.

5. Using hyperboles in your cover letter or CV

A cover letter or CV is designed to show your passion for the vacancy, but you really don’t want to go overboard with phrases/words such as: ‘really’, ‘very’, ‘I am so…’, ‘I need’. These phrases will make your cover letter in particular come across not only as desperate but fake as well. Keep your cover letter genuine and limit the passion just a little bit. Read it out loud and if you think it sounds hideous, redo it! It’s worth your time to make it better. As for your CV, stick to the facts and avoid showing your passion for the role altogether. If you’d like more cover letter tips, read more here.

Job hunting can be really hard and time consuming – but unfortunately there are no shortcuts when you do a real job hunt. If time is of the essence financially for you to get another job, then get a part time job whilst you put more time into getting the career you really want. Make sure you have a tactical job hunt rather than a messy and desperate one. You could actually be burning bridges with employers you’re applying with if you come across as desperate for a role that doesn’t really suit your needs, because when one comes up that’s perfect for you, you may be overlooked when the employer reads your name.