Sometimes the simplest mistakes make all the difference in the potential joining together of an employer and a job searcher. These opportunities to fail occur before the first phone call is ever exchanged. If you’re an employer, these simple, yet serious, job searcher mistakes tell you volumes about the candidate. These deadly mistakes matter. Here are five things that employers need to watch for as you review job searcher resumes and applications.
Fail to follow your directions about how to apply:
By following your requested application method: email, fax, or mail, the job searcher brands himself as a cooperative person who can and is willing to follow directions. The candidate makes it easy for you to route all applications into an email recruiting folder, as an example. The job searcher is telegraphing that he is willing to stand on his qualifications without the need for games or by-passing your application system. He’s the job searcher you want.
Send resumes or cover letters with typos:
Typos brand the job searcher as a careless person who didn’t take the time to proofread her resume and cover letter. You can often judge the quality of the candidate’s future work by the quality of the documents that introduce the job searcher. You certainly obtain a sample of the written work you can expect. Many managers use typos as a screen to eliminate candidates from contention—and, wisely so.
Apply without providing the salary information you requested:
Many candidates are positive that once you see their credentials, and meet them, salary won’t be an issue. Their credentials will knock your socks off. They’re wrong. You have a budget, a job description, and the expectation that you’re not going to waste your time on a candidate who is too expensive. Minimally, this candidate causes you to make a screening phone call. Why spend time on candidates who don’t offer valid applications that follow your directions?
Fail to send a customized cover letter with their resume:
A customized cover letter means more than changing the lead paragraph to mention your company name. It means drawing your attention, point by point, to how the job searcher’s credentials match your stated needs. You already have a generic introduction–the resume. The cover letter is the candidate’s place to shine, to demonstrate that she is worth your time. Candidates, who connect the dots, demonstrate that they are meticulous, interested, and worth your time.
Leave large gaps in their employment—unexplained:
The first scan of a resume will reveal gaps in the job searcher’s employment history. Trust me. You will always want to know why these gaps exist. Job searching professionals tell candidates to explain employment gaps up front in the cover letter. Otherwise, you are likely to believe there is something wrong with the candidate. He appears undependable, has trouble finding a job, and more. And the truth is—there often is a problem with the candidate. Your call.