With Job Applications, Details Matter

Finding a job can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.  Working in Employer Relations, I constantly talk with employers about what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate and the best ways to stand out from the crowd.

Many candidates seem to forget that details matter.  These tips won’t guarantee you get the job, but they can make a difference.  Don’t lose out on a great opportunity because of one of these common mistakes:

Submitting the Wrong Resume  

We encourage you to create two or more versions of your resume that can be used in different situations. However, be aware of how many versions you have and always choose the correct version when applying for positions.

Picture it: it’s late at night and you’re searching for opportunities on Handshake. You see a great job and you apply right away only to realize that you attached the wrong resume. Whether it’s the one tailored for a different industry or an outdated version without that great summer internship, the result is the same: you’re not presenting your best self.

Don’t let this happen to you. Before applying, make sure you know which resume is the correct one to use for that job.

Cover Letter Mistakes  

A cover letter is just as important as your resume, and mistakes are just as deadly.

Make sure you address your cover letter to the correct organization.  You will not get an interview with Company A if you address the cover letter to Company B. In addition, spell their name correctly.  If you are unsure of the proper spelling, check out their website.

Not including a cover letter is a big mistake, especially if a job posting states that you must submit a cover letter in order to be considered.  You will not get a call for an interview if you don’t follow the application instructions.

Missing an Interview  

Make sure you know the date/time of the interview and the position that you are interviewing for.  In some instances, an employer will schedule a phone interview with you.  Give the employer the phone number that you plan to use for the interview.  You don’t want the employer to call on the scheduled date/time, only to find that they get your voicemail.

When preparing for the interview, read the job description.  You will not be ready for the interview if you don’t know the about the position you are interviewing for.

Forgetting To Send Thank-you Notes  

Thank-you notes (either email or hand-written) are not an optional part of the process. If you forget to send them, the employer will likely think you are no longer interested in the position.

Be sure to address the thank-you note to the correct individual(s).  Ask for business cards; this will take the guesswork out of spelling names and addresses.  Refer to the correct position in the thank-you note and use the correct organization name.

This advice might seem basic, but we have seen all of it happen.  Don’t give employers a reason to screen you out, give them a reason to hire you.

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