Five Job Application Mistakes to Avoid

Five Job Application Mistakes to Avoid

You’re awesome. You know you are. So why won’t anyone hire you? Your awesomeness may not be coming across in your job application. All the time we see talented job seekers who give the wrong impression to employers because of what they say – or don’t say – when they’re applying for jobs. Here are five common job application mistakes that might be stopping you from getting the job.

 
 
1. You look like a job hopper.
 
Here’s your mistake:
All the past jobs you list on your application lasted only a month or two. Employers see this and get nervous. They’re thinking, “I can’t hire this guy – as soon as I spend the money to train him he’ll leave.”
 
Here’s how to fix it:
First of all just delete any job from your online profile that lasted less than three months (unless you’re a student and that’s all you have). Use the “Tell Us About Yourself” section to explain – briefly! – why you have a spotty work history. Say something like this: “I’ve held a few short-term jobs in the past year because I was a full-time student and my schedule changed frequently. I’m now looking for a permanent position and I’m very interested in working for your company.”
 
2. You act like you don't want the job.
 
Here’s your mistake:
The hiring manager liked what she saw in your application – liked it so much that she called and left you a voicemail. But she never heard back from you, so guess what? She figured you didn’t want the job and hired someone else.
 
Here’s how to fix it:
When you get a message from an employer, never assume they’ll call you back. You’re trying to show them you really want the job, remember? Call back right away – and if you can’t reach the manager, at least leave a message to show that you called. Keep trying until you get through. Remember to check your phone messages – and your email – at least once a day. And pleeease: no Lady Gaga as your voicemail background music.
 
3. You look like you have something to hide.

Here’s your mistake:
There’s nothing about you in your online profile. We automatically include the info from online profile in your job application, making it easy to apply to jobs. But this doesn’t help you at all if your profile is blank. Employers want to know as much about you as possible: where you’ve worked, what skills you have and where you went to school. If you don’t provide this information, you’re a mystery. And you won’t get hired.
 
Here’s how to fix it: 
Sign in and print out your profile. Circle all the blank areas. Did you fill out your past work experience? Did you use the “Tell Us About Yourself” section to explain why you’d be perfect for the job? Pretend you’re a hiring manager – do you have enough information here to make a hiring decision? If not, add all the details you can think of.

4. You freak out the hiring manager.

Here’s your mistake:
You might have all the qualifications and skills an employer is looking for – but if your email address is vampyreluvver@email.com and pics of your bat-wing tattoos are plastered on Facebook, hiring managers might be a little freaked out.
 
Here’s how to fix it:
You don’t want to pretend to be someone you’re not – but if you’re serious about getting a job, think about how you might come across to hiring managers. Use a neutral email address, clean up your online image, and make sure your online profile shows how great a worker you are. Also, look for jobs that fit your personality; facial piercings and front-desk jobs might not go so well together.

5. You come across as being carless careless.

Here’s your mistake:
You’d be surprised by how many employers will toss out your job application if it includes typos. Unless you’re applying to be a sign painter, employers don’t require you to be a champion speller. But submitting a job application that says “Worked in restorant as a bartinder” tells the hiring manager that you’re just not trying very hard.
 
Here’s how to fix it:
Print out your resume and/or application and get someone else to read it. Simple as that. They’ll catch the mistakes you might miss. The great thing is that once you’ve proofread your profile/application, you don’t have to do it again – the correct info will automatically be sent to employers when you apply for a job.
 
Good luck!
 
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