At Headway Workforce Solutions, we connect with countless job seekers, like you, searching for their next great opportunity. Many of you discover Headway while searching and applying for jobs online through job boards, social media, and community organizations. When you submit your resume, we ensure that you are matched to an excellent company through our highly-skilled recruitment team. Being able to provide work for you is the best part of our job! To aid you in your next search, we interviewed our recruiters to share 10 mistakes to avoid when searching and applying for a job.
1. Your resume is too long to read
You may think that having a lot of work experience on your resume is a great thing, but having a resume that is several pages long makes it difficult to read. To determine how readable your resume is, take a look at your resume for only 10 seconds. If you are unable to see your qualifications within that amount of time, then chances are a recruiter or hiring manager will not see them at all.
“One to Two pages max- even if you have years and years of experience. Scale your bullet points down to maybe one or two highlights.” –Shanika Corrica, Recruiter
2. Voicemail box is not set up
When you apply for a job, you should be on high alert for a phone call from a recruiter or hiring manager. In case you are unable to answer the phone when you are called, your voicemail box becomes extremely helpful. Set up your voicemail box so that you can receive a message. Also, if your voicemail box is already set up, make sure it is not full and that your voicemail greeting is professional.
“When a voicemail box isn’t set up, it makes it difficult to relay important and time-sensitive information that might be of interest to the candidate, and it’s potentially a missed chance.” –Shanika Corrica, Recruiter
3. Your resume has spelling and grammar errors
Show the employer you really want the job by sending them an error-free resume. There are many free resources to help you correct your spelling and grammar so that you can make a good impression. You can ask a friend, relative, or mentor to look over your resume if you are not confident in your writing skills. There are also free workshops that teach resume writing skills at your local career center.
“Misspellings and bad grammar can disqualify you from a position. The message it conveys to the recruiter or hiring manager is that you do not pay attention to detail or check over your work.” –Ashley Lucy, Recruiter
4. Being Dishonest
Always tell the truth on your job application, resume, and during your interview. Lying about your skills and experience can seem appealing when you desperately want a job. However, when the time comes for you to prove yourself, your lie will likely be discovered which will disqualify you completely from the position you wanted.
“It is extremely important for a candidate to be honest because without that honesty, they are not going to do anything but waste their time and mine, plus they might end up in a position that is not a good fit.” –Chelsea Vick, Recruiter
5. Resume and Application do not match
Employers need both a completely filled-out application AND resume. Though filling out both feels time-consuming, you should do it for the best chances of landing the job. You’ve probably wondered, “Can’t the hiring manager just look at my resume?” Well, the hiring process may not work in the way you think. Most of the time, your application and resume are scanned by a computer or applicant tracking system first. If you meet the general requirements for the job, your application and resume will then travel to an employee in the human resources department where they will further be sorted. Only if your resume and application both show that you are qualified, will it then journey to the hiring manager for review.
“It is important to have your resume match your application because your resume is a snapshot of your career, skills, and accomplishments. If the application does not match the resume it may lead the hiring manager to believe you are not being truthful about your experience.”- Ashley Lucy, Recruiter
“If the candidate mentions something in their application, I would advise them to add it to their resume as well. –Jennifer Ibeanusi, Recruiter
6. Being late to your interview
Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you end up running late for your job interview. For that reason, give yourself plenty of time to handle any possible situations that may arise so that you can still make it to your scheduled interview time be it in-person, over the phone, or through a video chat. If being late is inevitable, make sure to give a phone call to your interviewer to let them know. Doing so conveys to the interviewer that you are respectful, professional, and still interested in the position.
“Be on time! You will likely be able to access the interview prior to your scheduled appointment. By testing it out prior to your interview you will also have a chance to test what you are using to complete the video and then troubleshoot problems ahead of time.” –Chelsea Vick, Recruiter
7. Unprofessional attire
It is more than likely you will be at home during your video interview, however, that does not mean you should dress in your favorite lounging attire. In general, the camera only needs to see you from the chest up anyway, so wear a solid colored button-down shirt. To really make you look qualified for the job, add a blazer on top. Men can also wear a tie if they would like.
“They should treat the video interview with the same professionalism they would treat a face to face interview.” – Ashley Lucy, Recruiter
8. Not being knowledgeable about the job
Though it is tempting to apply for every job, doing so can cause you to become disorganized, or forget which positions you’ve applied for. This can leave you unprepared to discuss the job when you are contacted. Create a file on your computer where you save all the descriptions of jobs you have applied for. If you prefer a hard copy, then just print all the job descriptions and keep them in a folder.
“It is important to keep up with the job descriptions of jobs you have applied for because it makes you seem uninterested and unmotivated to pursue that position.” –Jennifer Ibeanusi, Recruiter
9. Bad first impression
Be careful. Don’t get too comfortable. When communicating with a recruiter or hiring manager, always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Using the same communication style that you use with your friends will give off the impression that you are not serious about wanting the job.
“It’s important to have a good first impression because it makes me enthusiastic to work with them in getting an interview scheduled. If they appear as unmotivated, I tend to want to focus my attention elsewhere.” –Jennifer Ibeanusi, Recruiter
10. Unprofessional email address
Have a personal email address that is used with friends and family, and have another one that is used for professional matters such as applying for jobs. Your professional email address should include your real first and last name. If you are a person with a common name then an email address with your name might be taken. The way around this is to include numbers, dashes, dots, or underscores in your name. For an example: John.Doe1234@gmail.com
“I have had email addresses with ‘666’ in them or ‘darklord’. I can say neither of those people got hired. It’s important to keep in mind that your email address sets a level of professionalism, both for yourself and others contacting you.” –Chad Yeager, Recruiter
Article Written by April Porter