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.

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