Job seekers often focus a great deal of time and energy into perfecting their interview skills. However, your application is the first thing potential employers see. In order to make it to the interviewing stage, you need to make an impression with your resume and the application you submit. Before you look for job positions in your area, check to make sure you aren’t making any of the application mistakes below.
Follow the Application Rules
Most employers today have their own unique application. This application needs to be filled out and submitted alongside your cover letter resume. Many job seekers make mistakes during this preliminary stage, and it prevents them from landing the job they want.
Always make sure that you meet the company’s minimum requirements before you submit an application. If a position requires 5 years of professional experience and you’re a recent college graduate, don’t submit an application. This just wastes your time and the employer’s time as well.
If you do meet the minimum requirements, make sure that you follow directions when submitting the application. Something as simple as a formatting mistake or not including your signature may prevent you from being invited for an interview.
Make sure that you are prepared to fill out your application. Remember, these forms require a great deal of information about your work history and any references that you may have. Gather all of this information before you sit down to fill out the application to make the process as quick and painless as possible.
Once you have finished your application, make sure that you proofread it. Check for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Many experts also recommend reading your application out loud. Remember, you want to make a great impression with your application, so make sure that it is free of errors and presents you in a positive way.
Cover Letter and Resume Mistakes
Not every employer will require a cover letter, but you should include one regardless of their requirements.
Make sure that you address the appropriate person in your cover letter. Avoid using a generic salutation, such as “To Whom it May Concern.” Using a generic salutation gives the impression that you did not take the time to find the name of the person you are supposed to contact. Many job seekers make the mistake of neglecting to include their contact information in their cover letter. Always include contact information on both your cover letter and your resume.
Do not use your cover letter as an opportunity to show your comedic or poetic personality. Keep it as straightforward and professional as possible.
Job seekers also tend to make mistakes with their resumes as well. Check your resume for any of the following:
- Incorrect contact information or an invalid email address. Potential employers cannot contact you if they have the wrong information. Make sure that your name, address, phone number and your email address are accurate before submitting a resume.
- Limited or no skills listed. Your skills are a major selling point and what most employers are interested in. Make sure that you list all of your skills.
- Typos. It should go without saying that your resume should be free from spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors.
- Employment dates are not included or not specific. Include the exact dates that you worked for a company. Not being specific in this department may raise a red flag with potential employers.