The process of applying for a job is a little bit like running a gauntlet. First there is the cover letter, then the resume, and then at least one interview. If you slip up at any point, you can ruin your chances of getting a job. While focusing on what to do right will help you to successfully navigate your job search, you should also watch out for the following pitfalls.
– Spelling and grammar mistakes. Employers see a surprising number of typographical errors and spelling mistakes on job applications, which can hurt an applicant. This shows a lack of attention to detail, which is a must in many positions.
– Irrelevant information. On a resume, irrelevant information can bog down a recruiter and keep them from seeing things that might pique their interest. Your resume does not need to include every job you’ve ever had, particularly if you’ve worked in several industries.
– Not showing results. Resumes should discuss results and not responsibilities. In most cases, a job title alone gives a recruiter a good idea of what you were supposed to do, and you should not supplement it with a list of those things. Potential employers will be much more interested in what you accomplished.
– Failing to prepare references. References often take a backseat to other parts of the job search, but they can be very important in closing a deal. Make sure to tell your references what you’ve been up to recently so that they have positive things to say to anyone who calls them. Always take the time to let them know when they might be receiving a call and, of course, make sure you know what they’ll say before you list them.
– Poor body language. During your job interview, the way you hold yourself will tell the interviewer a lot about you. Slouching, crossing your arms, not making eye contact or looking away, and forgetting to smile can seriously hurt your chances of getting the job.