Common Job Search Mistakes: Have You Made Them?

When you are conducting your job hunt, you need to be on the lookout for simple mistakes that could raise a red flag to the employer.
If you are a job hunter, take note and correct them immediately if you notice that you have made any of these mistakes. And if you are an employer, take heed as well. If you see any of these mistakes from an applicant, you need to reevaluate whether you want this person working for you.
HR specialist Susan Heathfield lists a few of them:
One mistake is not following directions properly. If the person cannot follow the directions on how to apply for the job, it tells you something about him or her, about his willingness to cooperate and attention to detail.
Another terrible error is to have spelling mistakes on a resume and cover letter. This is pretty self-evident about what it says about the job applicant – that the individual is careless, for starters. And it might eliminate someone as a candidate right away.
Another problem is with an applicant who won’t provide salary information as the employer asked. This again raises the question of why. The job seeker may believe his or her qualifications might make salary an inconsequential issue, but obviously this isn’t true. Another red flag.
Another rookie error is not providing a cover letter with the resume, and making sure the cover letter is appropriate to the employer receiving it. Adapting the cover letter to an employer means more than just changing the title of the company in the first paragraph. The entire letter needs to focus on the job at that particular company – how a candidate can best do the job and meet the needs of the company through that job.
Another mistake is not explaining gaps in employment history up front, usually in the cover letter. The employer will see these gaps on the resume and wonder why they are there. A job seeker needs to explain why immediately, and not leave the employer wondering why it should bother hiring an individual.
Another common error, but one that always seems to crop up, is when an applicant uses a gimmick of some kind to attract attention to the resume. These can run the gamut from different color stationary, to offbeat descriptions, to different font layout, and other similar contrivances. Sometimes, these antics create more problems for the employer, and may leave them wondering why a candidate used them in the first place.
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