When the human resource department posts a job, they always get more applications than they want to go through. Finding a needle in a haystack gets tedious for them. That’s why hiring managers look for things that can weed out the applicants who may be unsuccessful at the tasks the job requires.
Ensure that your application isn’t the first to be discarded by avoiding these ten job application mistakes:
Mistake # 1: Failure to Follow Instructions on the Application Form or Job Posting
Treat the job application like an assignment. Just how you won’t start a project without reading the instructions carefully, don’t apply for a job until you’ve read all the instructions and requirements on the job posting. Failure to do so will result in your application being discarded along the rest of the haystack, as it shows that you don’t pay attention to detail.
Mistake # 2: Leaving Blank Fields on the Form
HR professionals spend a lot of time drafting job application forms. Leaving blank sections in the form will leave the hiring managers knowing less about you than other candidates. It also shows that you didn’t bother to give attention to answering all the questions. It can deem your application as incomplete, and it may end up in the discarded stack.
Mistake # 3: Submitting Your Application Late
It doesn’t matter if you saw the job posting one week or two hours before the deadline. It’s your job to apply on time. At this stage, the only thing hiring managers know about you is the fact that you can’t follow deadlines, and it won’t bode well.
Mistake # 4: Grammatical and Spelling Errors
Grammatical and spelling errors and make your job application look unprofessional. If you know that your grammar and spellings aren’t excellent, you must ask someone to proofread it or run it through a spellcheck feature online. While an error or two won’t impact your application, several of them may end up your application in the discarded pool.
Mistake # 5: Not Explaining Gaps in Employment
Employment gaps aren’t always bad. However, if you don’t explain the gaps, it can raise eyebrows among the hiring managers. Therefore, you must explain your employment gap so that the hiring managers don’t assume what happened.
If you left your previous job on bad terms, state that. It’s better to tell this yourself than letting the hiring manager find out about it in the reference check later in the process.
Application forms usually have a small space to talk about the gaps, so use your words smartly. If there’s adequate space in the form, be sure to explain all that you learned from the experience.
Mistake # 6: Not Attaching All Required Documents
If a job advertisement wants additional materials along with an application form, it’s explicitly telling you that these supplemental materials will play a massive role in making the final decision. If you don’t attach these documents, there won’t be sufficient information for the hiring manager to compare you with other job applicants. Therefore, your application will end up in junk.
Mistake # 7: Failing to Tailor Application Materials to Each Job
When applying for a job, you must let the hiring manager know that you’re the perfect fit for the task. The best way to go about this is by tailoring your resume according to the skills, knowledge, and abilities mentioned in the job ad.
Failure to do this is a testament that you don’t care for the job as you didn’t spend your time thoughtfully molding your application in a way that indeed shows how you can perform at the job once you get it.
Experienced HR professionals can identify a regular cover letter from a tailored one. If you don’t write a fresh letter for the job you’re applying for, the hiring manager won’t be interested in considering your application.
Mistake # 8: Applying for a Job You’re Overqualified For
HR departments look for recruits who can perform the given task well and stay for a good amount of time.
A person with a master’s degree in psychology and ten years of experience in organizational psychology applying for a job of an administrative technician can perform the job, but this person isn’t a good hire.
An overqualified person will soon find the position boring and start looking for better jobs.
Applying for a job that’s way beneath your experience and qualification can also look suspicious. Hiring managers would think about what all went wrong in other jobs that caused the person to look for jobs they’re overqualified for.
Mistake # 9: Applying for a Job You’re Unqualified For
Don’t apply for a job of a lawyer if you’ve studied media studies. Applying for a job that you aren’t qualified for will waste your and your employer’s time. If you carry out this practice consistently, you’ll make a reputation of doing this. After that, when you’ll apply for a job you’re actually qualified for, people won’t take you seriously.
Mistake # 10: Creating Confusion
Your application should give a chronological account of your employment history and a brief but explanatory account of your skills and competencies. Using flowery language and long sentences would stop the hiring managers from reading your application in its entirety. Ensure that the starting and ending dates of your jobs are correct. A discrepancy can create confusion.
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