I recently spoke with 20 HR professionals and asked them:
“What are the biggest mistakes you see candidates making when applying for jobs?”
Every professional should take 2 minutes right now and read their responses.
• Speaking very negatively about employers or co-workers. Candidates who speak objectively, even about tough employers, demonstrate more credibility.
• Forwarding his/her resume to multiple employers at the same time via the “To” or “Cc” field. Each application MUST be personalized.
• Grammatical errors.
• Resumes that were not up-to-date (contain out of service phone numbers). These errors show the person lacks focus or isn’t diligent in ensuring the quality of their end product.
• Receiving resumes without cover letters. It’s like walking into a meeting without saying hello and trying to get down to business. Cover letters are an important part of the process.
• Being too personal in an interview.
• Making little to no effort to demonstrate their knowledge about the actual position they are applying to or the company itself.
• Embellishing one’s title, accomplishments and length of service at a prior job in order to obtain a higher position, and assuming those details will not be checked.
• Note: 33% of resumes contain embellishments. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to do. It means too many people are doing it!
• Likewise doctored or fraudulent credentials such as educational degrees/diplomas or training certificates, driver’s license abstracts, etc.
• Not recognizing the organizations name when you contact them. Candidates who had absolutely no idea who we were when we contacted them to discuss their application.
• No excitement or passion shown in their resume, cover letter, and/or the interview.