We often hear advice about what we should do when applying for jobs, job search tips that help guide our hunt for the perfect position.
But here’s something that’s even more helpful when it comes to crafting the perfect application: advice on what not to do during your job hunt.
Recruiters and hiring managers all have their own personal preferences about little things that turn them off from candidates and applications. But when you look at some of the worst offenders, you’ll see many of them have pieces in common… and those are the biggies you want to avoid.
For this list of advice, we went straight to the recruiters and hiring managers who are actually filling open positions and asked them: What prompts you to toss an application right into the trash can? When might you lose interest in a candidate? What should Brazen Life readers avoid doing at all costs to increase their chances of landing that ideal position?
If you’re really keen about making a positive impression on recruiters, don’t do these things. (Click here to tweet this list of things to avoid.)
1. Forget to proofread
“A colleague of mine once said, ‘A resume represents the best this person can possibly be.’ This is so true,” says August Negele, recruiting and development coordinator for Homescout Realty, explaining that a resume “represents careful thought of what a job seeker wants an employer to know about them. There is limitless time to create, perfect, proofread, make changes, update, have consistent formatting, etc.”
A typo may be forgiven, but don’t ever expect an error-ridden resume to get moved to the right pile. “Even if a resume has one small error, I’ll give a pass,” Negele says. “If there is more than one, but the candidate is exceptional, we might still get to an interview. If there are more than three, auto-fail.”
2. Ignore instructions
Instructions are there for a reason, so if a company has provided them on their job ad or application page, follow them!
When asked what he finds applicants consistently do wrong, Michael Hayes, owner of Momentum Specialized Staffing, replied:
“For our client base, it is people that can’t follow simple directions on how to apply. Our postings contain all the information: who, what, where. If we state [we’ll be hosting] open interviews, people call us asking how to apply. If we say, ‘send a resume,’ they call and ask how to apply.”
Want a surefire way to make potential employers doubt your ability to do the job right? Ignore basic instructions from the get-go.