Many people think of the interview as the first step in finding a new job. What many fail to realize is that the application is the first step. Too often people will make simple mistakes during the application process that will stop the chances of moving forward dead in its tracks.
- Fail to follow directions
Be sure to follow all instructions and directions during the application process. If there are questions; answer them, or write in N/A (not applicable). Same if there are fields on a form that do not apply to you. Leaving them blank will make it come across as if you couldn’t take the time to fill everything out and provide all the information requested. One of the most important qualities an employer looks for in a potential employee is the ability to follow directions and instructions, so don’t disqualify yourself from a job you want by failing this important test right out of the gate.
- You’re not using keywords in your resume
Here at iMPact Business Group, a real person will always be reviewing your resume when you send it to us. But in many cases, companies and staffing agencies use keyword-scanning software with the idea that if you’re qualified, your resume will be filled with relevant keywords. Make sure your resume contains relevant keywords based on the job description. You can include a section on top of your resume that contain keywords reflecting your skills.
- Showing off measurable accomplishments
When describing previous job roles, a hiring manager wants to see what you have accomplished more than just a listing of what your job duties were. Numbers stand out on a page, so make sure to quantify your achievements. For example: “reduced production errors by 10%” or “increased number of clients by 25%”.
- Failing to tailor the application
When an employer receives your resume and it has not been customized to address the specific position you’re applying for, most likely it will end up in the trash can. The recruiter or hiring manager will simply conclude that you do not have a specific interest in the position and that you’re just sending out the same resume for a variety of position hoping something sticks. Take a few minutes to review the job posting, understand what kind of skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. Highlight those on your resume.
- Applying if you do not meet the qualifications
If you don’t have the skills, experience or qualifications required for the job, you’re just wasting your time and the employer’s time by sending in your application. If you do have transferable skills that may not be obvious to the reader, make sure to explain why you will be a good fit for the role.
- Spelling and grammar errors
This one can’t be repeated enough. Make sure you have carefully read through all the documents you’re submitting. Ask a friend and a colleague to do the same for you. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make sure to not give the hiring manager the wrong impression.
- Using an unprofessional email address
If needed, set up a separate email address for job searches. There are many free services to choose from such as Gmail and Yahoo. Keep it professional.
There’s a lot of competition for jobs, and it’s not uncommon that employers receive well over 100 applications for an open position. Make sure that a simple avoidable mistake doesn’t land your resume in the trash can before you even have a chance to talk to the employer about why you are a great fit for the position.