6 Common Job Application Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Posted January 8, 2022 by in Career
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A typical corporate job opportunity receives around 250 applications. With such a high level of competition, it’s crucial to submit a strong application to make yourself stand out. But you might stand out in the wrong way by making basic job application mistakes. And just one small mistake can be enough to land your resume in the trash pile.

Here are six common mistakes to avoid during your next job hunt:

resume mistakes

1. Not Modifying Your Application

It can take dozens of sent applications before you receive a job offer, let alone an interview. And because of that, you might think it’s best to quickly send the same generic application materials to each opening to save time and energy.

But quality beats quantity when it comes to job applications, and it’s better to edit your resume and cover letter so that they appeal to the types of jobs or companies you’re applying to.

When applying to caregiver jobs, for example, it’s crucial to include past caregiving roles and demonstrate how much you enjoy helping others.

2. Skimming the Job Details

It would be a mistake to apply to a job only based on the job title. But it’s almost just as bad to merely skim the details and job application instructions.

Thoroughly check over the job application requirements and position details before applying. If you fail to meet a basic request made on the job opening page, you can almost guarantee you won’t land an interview.

3. Making Mistakes or Typos

Mistakes, typos, and even falsified information have no place in your job application.

When applying to a job, make sure no information is exaggerated and that there are no white lies about your experience.

Also check for spelling or grammar mistakes, which can make you appear less professional. If needed, ask a friend to read over your cover letter and resume to help you catch any errors.

4. Being Too Humble

Getting a good job can be competitive, and even if you’re typically a humble person, try to step outside your comfort zone and allow yourself a little room to brag.

Talk about your accomplishments and what value you brought to your previous jobs. Don’t shy away from including numbers, specific awards received, and other markers of your success.

5. Skipping a Cover Letter

Your resume may be strong, and you might think a cover letter isn’t necessary, but skipping the cover letter to save time is a common mistake.

While a resume lists the facts, a cover letter adds more depth to who you are. That’s your chance to tell your story and show your passion to recruiters. And that can make all the difference when you’re up against hundreds of other applicants.

6. Not Following Up

You sent your application for a job you’re qualified for and that fits your interests and experience. But then, in the days following, you receive no email or phone call. You might think this is the time to give up and move on, but now is the perfect chance to follow up.

After submitting an online job application, wait around a week before checking in. Following up too soon could also prevent a potential employer from reaching out to you for an in-person interview.

Tip: If you do get called in for an in-person, be sure to send your interviewer an email thanking them for their time within 24 hours of your interview. If you hear no response to that message, follow up about a week later.

When applying for a job, one misstep may cost you your chance at an interview. So avoid the following and do your best to leave a positive impression.

Get more advice on switching jobs with our latest career articles!

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