Mistakes to Avoid During a Job Application Process

By Concordia University - School of Graduate Studies Modified on May 05, 2023
Tags : Careers

Find out what common mistakes people make when applying to jobs, and how you can avoid them.

 Mistakes to Avoid During a Job Application Process

When you’re up against hundreds of other applicants, simply meeting the requirements listed in the job posting, does not necessarily mean you will get the interview. Following the application process and properly communicating your skills in your submission are critical to demonstrating you are a candidate worthy of serious consideration.

This blog highlights some pitfalls to avoid in your job application. We share some common mistakes experienced in our hiring process at GradProSkills and constructive tips of what not to do when applying for a job.

Common causes for elimination

Here are a few reasons why you may have been passed up for an interview:

  • Not reading application instructions carefully: Make sure to include the attachment of your resumé and cover letter in your submission email, and to submit all the explicitly stated required documents. These documents are not optional. If anything is unclear, contact the employer to ensure you understand the instructions you are expected to follow.
  • The details matter, and we notice: Do not use the same resumé and cover letter for different positions. You should always tailor these documents according to each position. Not just the job title but also your relevant skills, experience, interest, and understanding of the role. For help on formatting your cover letter or resumé, you can meet with a professional at Concordia’s Career and Planning Services or attend any of our Career Development Workshops.

  • Recycling your past applications or using templates: Do not send a cover letter that you have used for another application for another job and forgot to change the position and company name. Similarly, if using a template, make sure you have customized all elements of the template to your personal situation.
  • Lack of proper grammar and spelling: Always reread your application before sending it off, as misspelled words will not get you very far in the application process — especially if you spell the employer’s name incorrectly. Take the extra time to pause and go back to your application for a last read-through and final edits before submitting it.
  • Don’t share personal information if not required: Never include any of the following on your resumé: a photo, parent’s names, your marital status, or date of birth.
  • If you choose to follow up on your application progress, practice professional etiquette: Do not send follow up emails before the deadline for applying has passed. If stated there will be a certain time for follow up, respect the timeline.
  • If visiting the employer in person, receive feedback gracefully: Be open to feedback and don’t be argumentative, rude or condescending with the employer. Respect the employer’s decision because you never know what future opportunities may exist with that employer. What you read on a job posting is only one element of a larger hiring process, and you must accept that there are other people who may be more suited for the job, at that time, and with that team.

In avoiding these pitfalls while preparing your next job application, we wish you the best of luck in your job hunt! Should these tips help you reach the interview stage of a job application process, check out our GradProBlog for tips on how to ace your next interview.

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