Job Application Mistakes You Must Avoid When Looking for a Job

3 min read
Male applicant sitting on a wooden bench devastated after committing job application mistakes

So you’ve applied for a job with a great resume and you’re well qualified so you feel confident to get a callback. Keep in mind that dozens, even hundreds, of other potentially equally qualified applicants have applied as well. All of you are like waves trying to crash into the cliff. What would spell the difference between you getting hired or not? Simple: you need to avoid job application mistakes.

Job Application Reality: A Resume is Not Enough To Land a Job

A job search may take months or even a year in the current job market. But don’t be discouraged. Being prepared is the best way to land a great job and we know that it’s a tight job market out there.

The unemployment rate is at an all-time low and you must skillfully join the market. Hence, when you apply for a job, you are selling yourself through a piece of paper.

However, making your resume stand out in the sea of applicants is quite the challenge. Industry insiders estimate that 80% of job seekers do not have a resume and that the remaining 20% have ineffective resumes. How would you escape these job application mistakes? You must first identify them.

Most Common Job Application Mistakes Committed by Job Seekers

Few resumes that come across hiring managers’ desks stand out because most are laced with errors. Some of the most common job application mistakes that create a negative impression right off the bat are:

1. No cover letter or worse, one that only has few short lines

A cover letter gives the hiring manager some insight into your personality and work ethic. Don’t just create one for the sake of having one!

2. Sending your resume via email without a writing on the body of the email

Perhaps among the job application mistakes that should be obvious to the job seeker is to send a copy of your resume just as an attachment, and had not bothered to write anything on the body of the email.  Instead, introduce yourself, and try to give information that could interest them to schedule you for interview. For example, show them hard numbers that produced results.

3. Not customizing your job application documents to the job description

What’s one surefire way to leave your future employer turned off at you? When you submit an un-customized resume and cover letter. Did you just copy and paste off that thing from a previous application? What’s worse, is was when you had left the cover letter addressed to the last place you applied to.

One way to amend these job application mistakes is to customize your letter to the hiring manager with a specific name. It shows your effort and that you care about how you come across. Include in your cover letter information you have researched to show you did your homework on the company to which you are applying.

4. Obvious spelling and/or grammar errors

While some recruiters and hiring managers forgive the occasional missing period, and one or two spelling errors, you must not spell a word wrong throughout your resume. Begin by reviewing your resume to ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors. When you have spelling mistakes, your resume shows your lack of professionalism.

Give it one more look over, just to be sure! Check for resume elements that would give off that unprofessional vibe in your resume. Hence, remove a headshot picture on the resume (especially unprofessional ones). Unless you’re an actor or a model, don’t do it. Another from the job application mistakes roster you should avoid is to send your resume from your current work email. Use your personal one, instead. If you don’t have one, sign up for one it’s free!

Important Tips in Job Search: Overcoming Job Application Mistakes

Show relevant job experience to a new job you’re applying for

Whether you’re changing careers or moving up the career ladder, among the least job application mistakes that are barely given attention by job seekers is failing to show your relevant career experience in relation to the job you’re applying. If you don’t correct these, chances are slim to make it even in the hiring manager’s desk.

Make sure to customize according to the job description, highlight your strengths, emphasize your accomplishments and of course, check for grammar and spelling errors.

Send a thank you letter to your interviewer

Finally, if you do score an interview, follow-up with a thank you letter to the interviewer. You should shows good follow-up skills and keeps you fresh in the employer’s mind.

Follow these tips on facing job application mistakes and you’ll greatly improve your chances in your job search. Be realistic, be prepared, and be confident. If not, perhaps you could go back to the drawing board or, you could hire a professional resume writer.

Photo by Inzmam Khan from Pexels