Job seekers looking for six-figure salaries during the recession are
often so worried about their prospects that they ruin their chances
with silly mistakes, according to a new survey.

Particularly in a downturn, people lose their bearings and can get
very anxious and as a result can make rookie mistakes, said Marc
Cenedella, chief executive of, which caters to the job
market for those earning $100,000 or more a year and more.

The top mistake candidates for higher-income jobs made was
inadequately preparing for an interview, with 44 percent of recruiters
naming it as the biggest interview error, the survey of 500 executive
recruiters found.

It was conducted from April 8 to April 23.

Weak resumes, being too desperate and willing to take any job
offered were close behind, with 43 percent of recruiters naming them as
the biggest mistake.

People can get very frustrated and very anxious and very upset
about it and as a result behave in ways that make them look desperate,
Cenedella said.

He added that some fearful job seekers adopted a false machismo that
cast their candidacies in a poor light. Thirty-five percent of
recruiters found that candidates being overly aggressive was also a
mistake, the survey found.

Other mistakes included failure to follow up after the initial
contact or interview, selling oneself short on salary, conducting an
unfocused job search, and not sending a thank you note after an

The anxiety that many job applicants feel is warranted by the difficult job market in the recession, Cenedella said.

The number of open jobs paying upward of $100,000 per year will fall
20 percent in 2009, to 3.2 million openings from about 4 million
openings, estimates.

And the average job hunt during the downturn is likely to take about
eight to nine months rather than the five to six months it would take
otherwise, Cenedella said.

To land a job in the tougher environment, candidates can take
several steps: have their resume professionally written; apply for
fewer but more appropriate jobs; and be persistent, calling the
potential employer once a week for five weeks after the interview to
express interest, he added.