At the beginning of a new year, many job hunting hopefuls have big resolutions to find a new job and begin shooting off applications left, right and centre. But before you hit that send button, we want to revise some easily overlooked errors when applying for jobs. Some of this may seem like common sense but ALL of these job search no-no’s are based on real applications and happen alarmingly often.
Here’s a list of some of the worst offenders:
1. Not renaming files before you send them
Resume 25 v4
Making sense of all the different versions of your resume can be tricky but employers don’t need to see what obscure naming system you’ve come up with. Make a hiring manager’s life easy by clearly naming your resume with your name and position e.g. Mary Smith – Marketing Assistant
2. Sending unusual file formats or trying to use file sharing
You do not have permission to access this file.
Sending your resume via cloud sharing applications such as Google Drive can cause issues if you haven’t set the right security settings. Try to avoid using file sharing and instead always send your resume as an attachment. Word and pdf files are pretty much the only acceptable file formats, anything else becomes tedious.
3. Having the wrong contact details on your resume
You’d be surprised how many times recruiters and employers try to call a contact number on a resume only to find it’s the wrong number. Make sure you have your most current contact details on your resume, as well as any other supporting application materials (i.e. the footer of your email). Watch out for autocorrects and transposing numbers.
4. Spelling mistakes, spelling mistakes and more spelling mistakes!
I’m highly detail oreintated.
Read your resume, have your partner read your resume, have your neighbour, your postman and your old grandma read your resume. The point is, have fresh set of eyes proofread it for any resume and grammar slip ups. It’s also a good opportunity for feedback from someone who may not know your professional history well. Is it easy to follow? Do you clearly match the key requirements?
5. Addressing it to the wrong person and/or spelling their name wrong
Dear Mr Janet Lee,
Read job ads thoroughly, particularly any sections that identify how and who to send your application to. If you have found the name of the hiring manager, triple check the spelling and also check the salutation. Don’t make any assumptions that Taylor is a man or Jesse is a woman!
6. Failing to fill out all the template areas
I wish to apply for a job at [Company].
Using a template, whether it’s pre-made or your own is an easy shortcut for job applications. And we applaud you for attempting to customize each application to the different jobs you apply for. However, make sure you catch ALL the template blanks so there’s no embarrassing gaps. We’ve also seen applications for Company X still addressed to Company Y – oops!
7. Attaching a photo of yourself
DO NOT attach a photo, any photo. Whether it’s just you, you and your dog, you and your entire family, you with a candlelit vigil in the background (yes, all of these happen!). Including photos open employers up to risk of discrimination and your application will be discarded to avoid that risk.
If you’re looking for more resume advice, check out our Career Resources page »