To boost your chances of becoming gainfully employed, don’t make these job application mistakes:
Your Work History is Full of Gaps- Going from job to job gives employers the impression that you’re unreliable and indecisive. If a company or business is going to put in the time, effort and money to train you, they want to know that you will be with them for the foreseeable future. Unless you are enrolled in school and only have summer jobs to vouch for your experience, don’t include jobs that you held for only a few months. If the employer has access to an online application, be sure to make those short-term stints disappear from your profile as well. You don’t want to seem inconsistent. Explain away the chunks of time that you were unemployed. Write, or type, that you were a full-time student at the time, you were furthering your studies with a training program, or something along those lines. Let them know you weren’t merely avoiding work and leaving jobs on a whim.
The Application is Full of Mistakes- Prospective employers will come to the conclusion that you are not taking the opportunity seriously if your application is riddled with mistakes. It’s imperative to edit before turning it in. If it is an Internet application, copy and paste all of your text into a document and spell check it. If it’s a hard copy, ask a friend who is a grammar aficionado to read it over. Job applications that exude carelessness tend to get cast aside.
Your Online Presence is Unprofessional- If there’s one downfall of the Internet and social networking, it’s that all of your business is out there for the world to see. Take some time to do a little spring-cleaning when it comes to your image. Create an e-mail address that sounds professional and use it for job applications. That e-mail handle you came up with freshmen year with your buddies is probably not going to scream responsible adult. Therefore, do not include it on any applications. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking accounts are not highly inappropriate. Untag yourself from incriminating pictures and delete offensive comments. If you belong to a job searching site read over your profile and make sure it’s mature, well-written, and all of the sections are filled out. You want to ensure that your future boss has all of the relevant and correct information. This will make you a viable candidate.
You Get Lazy- You submitted an incredible job application and the employer is ready to give you an interview or offer you a position. However, you don’t check your e-mail for days and leave those voicemails unacknowledged on your phone. You will not get the job this way. Employers want someone proactive who will respond in a timely manner. If you applied to a job, make it a priority to check your e-mail daily and listen to your messages. This way if you are given the opportunity to make an in-person impression, you can take advantage of it.
You Don’t Follow the Directions- Similar to typos, not following directions results in a sloppy application. Read all of the directions carefully prior to filling out the application. Then re-read everything before sending it in. If the form asks for your last name first, putting your first name first shows the employer that you can’t take orders and you don’t pay attention. This will be the end of your aspirations for that particular workplace.
You Don’t Specify Which Position You Would Like to Apply For- This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s common for individuals to write “anything” under the position desired section. Are you really willing to do anything? Probably not. A potential employer likes to see people with ambition and initiative who know what they want. Anything equates to saying “whatever.” It also doesn’t specify which positions you are qualified for or may excel in. Use the appropriate job title or titles that you know will match your skills.
You Used the Terms “Fired” and “Quit”- “Fired” and “quit” have negative connotations. If you weren’t a good enough employee for someone else, why would the organization you’re applying to hire you? Yes, there are always extenuating circumstances but a job application isn’t the place to describe the differences in viewpoints that you had with your old boss. Instead use a reason such as “seasonal work,” “sought a more challenging and stimulating position,” “went back to school,” “career change,” or even “laid off.” It’s always best to put a positive spin on it.
A job application is the opportunity to sell yourself. Avoid these common mistakes so that your application will stand out enough to warrant a follow-up. A solid, thoughtful application is the key to finding employment.