A Sloppy Resume and Cover Letter
Nothing spells “p-a-s-s” on a resume screening better than sloppy documents. Things like poor grammar and bad organization communicate that you will only put minimal effort into important projects. You’re looking for a job, and you only have one shot with a cover letter and resume to be seen. Don’t give up that shot with a bad document that can easily be fixed.
Not Following Directions
When you’re answering an ad for a job, make sure you follow any directions given by the employer. Some managers wade out the people who don’t follow directions by providing a few small things they want you to include in your application, letter, or resume. When I hire a freelance writer, I ask them to send me a writing sample in a specific font. If they don’t follow directions, I don’t bother looking at their application. This may sound harsh, but if someone can’t follow simple instructions in an application, how will they follow instructions on the job?
Don’t lie about your past jobs, education, or anything on your resume. As we’ve seen in the news, it’s really just a matter of time before an employer finds out when they’ve hired someone who lied. It’s not worth the risk.
Social Media Dirty Laundry
When you’re searching for a job, don’t forget about your social media presence. Most recruiters will Google your name and look at your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts to learn more about you. Take the time to clean up any public posts you’ve made that are associated with your name. It’s also a good idea to go to your social media profiles and select the private options so no one can find you unless they are your friend.
TMI in your Cover Letter
In your cover letter, make sure to keep personal stories and anecdotes out of it. Keep the letter professional and job-focused. Explaining that you’re looking for friends because of a new move, that you have no experience because you just finished school, or that you think you’re too old for the job but you’re desperate for a new chance are all examples of over-shares that don’t have their place in a cover letter.
Including Your Photo
Unless an application clearly asks for a photo, don’t put one on your resume. Hiring managers are not supposed to take thinks like race, age, and gender into account when hiring, and a picture on your documentation can put them in an awkward spot.
Listing Strange Hobbies
Listing an irrelevant hobby may come off as making you look strange instead of well-rounded. Unless the hobby relates to the company or position, don’t include it on your resume at all. What you do in your spare time should not be the focus of your job application.
By avoiding these mistakes, your resume is less likely to be passed over. Have you ever included any of these things on a resume? What other items would you avoid sharing with a potential employer?
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