Competition for jobs is fierce, so don’t make these critical mistakes when applying for a job.
1. Don’t send in a generic resume or cover letter. You might as well just not send anything at all. Hiring managers are busy — not stupid — and they can spot a copy and paste template from a mile away. And unless your goal is to see how fast your resume can land in the trash, do not use one of those canned, overly used objective statements either.
Example: “Seeking a challenging position utilizing my experience, education, and creativity…”
This says nothing!
2. If you are using clip art or wacky fonts, stop now. You will not impress anyone. If you continue this madness, you will either come off as immature or you will prove that your technology skills are outdated by demonstrating your desktop publishing skills from two decades ago.
3. If a job requires a job application, fill it out completely. Don’t send in a resume as a substitute and write in “see resume” throughout the application. This is irritating and your application will not even be considered.
4. If you have an advanced degree, there is no need to put it behind your name. No one is really impressed by “John Smith, MBA.” I recently polled some recruiters and they actually laugh at people who do this. It’s safer to keep all degree references in your education section. It is also a little nonsensical to list your GPA if you have been out of college for more than a few years.
5. After you send in your application packet, do not call repeatedly to see if it has been received or to see if they have made a decision. There is also no need to call over and over to tell them why you are the perfect candidate. One follow up call is enough. If you contact them repeatedly, you will come off as being desperate.
If you are the perfect fit, they will call.
I know you are thinking that someone told you to do it. Well, some people (especially people with sales backgrounds) have encouraged this practice for far too long calling it “good follow up.” These same sales people like to throw around the phrase, “let’s touch base.” Take my word for it and do not listen to them.
So there you have it — five critical faux pas you should avoid like the plague if you are job hunting (unless you want to be annoying).