Mistakes happen, and even the best person has made faux-pas. After all, humans learn by experience, so a few errors helps us be better people in the end. One moment in your life that you don’t want to be in a learning curve is when you’re out looking for a job – a mistake during an interview or on your resume can cost you the chance of applying for a position you really want.
The first and most damning mistake a job seeker can make is to assume that simply applying for the position will be enough to get an employer’s attention. These days, mass communication means that any job has a large number of applicants applying. Some employers even find themselves in the unenviable position of having to distinguish real applicants from applicants who are applying for the job in order to fulfill a requirement of a welfare program.
Knowing that there’s an arduous screening process involved in filling an open position, you should always contact your potential employer via telephone, email, or if possible, in person, asking a simple question, such as whether your application was filled out correctly or if your resume was received, to show that you’re interested in the job. One call, visit, or email should be enough to show that you truly do want to fill the position available.
One major mistake many people make is lying about a past job where you left on bad terms. Potential employers seem to have a sixth sense about experiences that you glossed over or were dishonest about, so it’s best to try and put a positive spin on a blemish on your resume. Show that you’ve learned something from the experience or play up important parts of the past job, rather than trying to cover up a bitter relationship.
A mistake that’s almost as bad as lying on your resume is hard-to-decipher buzzwords to highlight good points of the resume. Unless a buzzword is part of a title, it’s best to find a more traditional way of phrasing your strengths. The opposite extreme of using hip, trendy words is sounding too dull and legalistic, which is something else to avoid when applying for a job. These same rules apply to cover letters as well. Ease of reading and professionalism can be hard to balance, but it’s very possible, so strive to achieve that tone. It never hurts to be just a little friendly (but still professional) in your choice of words for a resume or cover letter. Slang and buzzwords are mistakes, but the right tone will go a long way.