Thanks to the abundance of sophisticated job-related web apps out there (*cough* 86network.com *cough*), applying to jobs in 2015 has never been easier. Unfortunately, errors in job applications are as common today as they have ever been. Below, we’ve gathered our list of common job application mistakes and some helpful tips to avoid them.
Spelling and grammatical errors
You’d think that most people would use spell check and do a quick review of their application before pressing SEND, but you’d be incorrect. Applicants misspell their own name, the company they are applying to and many other common words all the time. There is absolutely no reason why you should have any of these errors on your application, period. TIP: Use bleepin’ spellcheck and spend five minutes reviewing your application before submitting it.
One of the biggest mistakes most job applicants make is sending in the same resume/cover letter/application for different jobs. Most people think it’s too much work to create a somewhat unique application for each job they’re applying to, but it really doesn’t take much effort and it can have a great impact on your chances of landing an interview. You’re far better off including one or two sentences about why you’re a great fit for that job/employer rather than including a one or two page generic cover letter; hiring managers can smell ‘generic’ from a mile away… NEXT!
Oh, and one more thing. Having said the above, you are better off NOT including anything in the Comments section of an application rather than writing something like, “I need a job ASAP.” (You would be surprised how often comments like these show up on applications!) Hiring managers can pick up on “desperate” pretty easily too.
Exaggerating your qualifications or experience
Saying you managed a staff of 100 or that you boosted sales by 300% is great…if it’s true. Lying or exaggerating on any part of your application will only lead to problems later on. Sure, you might get past the initial screening stage, but once the hiring manager starts calling your references, you’ll be found out and you can kiss your chances of getting hired goodbye. Furthermore, if your reference finds out you lied or exaggerated, they may not feel they can recommend you to other companies, either. So, instead, stick to the facts and highlight the measurable impact you have had on previous employers. Examples:
“I increased sales by 30% year over year through the use of online sales.”
“I reduced food cost by 10% in two years by finding better suppliers and implementing a food waste tracking program.”
Inappropriate email addresses
As cute as Princesspie34@*****.com sounds, it may not send the right signal to your next potential employer. We’ve all had silly email addresses at some point, but when you start applying for jobs, it’s a good time to ditch them.
TIP: In your head, imagine yourself spelling your email address out loud to a hiring manager. Sound stupid? Hopefully this will help you figure out whether it’s appropriate or not. If you need to create a new email address, we recommend using some combination of your first, last, or middle name or initials to remain professional.
Poor answers to application questions
Answering “Why do you think you’re a great fit for this position,” with “Because I’m good at what I do” demonstrates that you’re either not very “good” at this whole work thing or that you’re just plain lazy – neither of which represents you very well to a potential employer. Listen up, People! Application questions exist for a reason: to help managers quickly screen applications so they can spend time looking at only the best. And regardless of how great your qualifications are, if you don’t bring them to a hiring manager’s attention, they won’t hire you. So, do yourself a favour and spend a few minutes thoughtfully answering the questions asked of you when you apply. Also, be brief; a one or two sentence answer is fine for most questions.
And there you have it! A few of the most common job application mistakes we’ve come across. Most of them are obvious, so remember: when you’re applying to jobs, a little common sense goes a long way.
Here are a few of our favourite funny resume bloopers, courtesy of the JobMob blog.
“Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”
“I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.”
“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
“Finished eighth in my class of ten.”
“Consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts.”
“Planned new corporate facility at $3 million over budget.”
“I am great with the pubic.”
“I am about to enrol on a Business and Finance Degree with the Open University. I feel that this qualification will prove detrimental to me for future success.”
“2001 summer Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people.”
Hobbies: “enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians.”
“Service for old man to check they are still alive or not.”
“Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse.”
Oh man, those are good.
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