Don’t Sabotage Your Next Application 

Woman job seeker in a suit, She being interviewed for a job. Human resources and recruitment concept.

How to Not Sabotage Your Next Application

Both anxiety-inducing and mundane at the same, writing a resume isn’t an entertaining way to pass the time. 

Because writing it feels like such a chore, resumes often contain basic errors, and sadly, even minor mistakes can sabotage good candidates before they get to the interview stage. 

A recent study from Adzuna involving nearly 93,000 resumes found misspelled words to be the most common resume mistake. Other common mistakes included the need for a career summary, gaps in work history, and inappropriate file names. 

These simple mistakes may seem unrelated to a candidate’s job ability, but companies increasingly rely on automated software to screen applications. These automated programs are designed to flag any spelling, grammatical or other mistakes. Flagged resumes are often relegated to the bottom of the digital pile. 

To be fair to employers, simple mistakes can indicate an applicant did not take the process seriously, or they would be prone to making basic errors if hired. Job openings often receive multiple applications, and employers usually have the luxury of dismissing resumes with minor mistakes. 

A simple way to spot any typos or minor oversights is to have someone else proofread your resume. A fresh set of eyes is all it takes to avoid sabotaging your next application. 

How Do You Save Yourself from Sabotaging Your Next Application? Catching typos is just the beginning. 

Misspelled words may be the most common resume mistake, but many other pitfalls should be considered before submitting your next application.  

Another common mistake, according to the Adzuna study, is leaving a gap in the work history section. If there is a gap of two or more months in a candidate’s work history, it will likely raise a red flag for a potential employer.  

Between the Great Recession and COVID-19, many people have found themselves out of work in the past couple of decades, and there’s no shame in having a gap in your work history. However, it should be dressed in some fashion. If you went to school or did volunteer work while unemployed, it should be mentioned in your work history to close that gap. Even if you stayed home to raise young children or look after a sick loved one, putting that in your work history shows you didn’t just spend months sitting on your couch.  

It’s also vital to ensure you have an optimal filename and format for your resume. When titling your resume file, use your full name followed by the word “Resume.” This can avoid any mix-up on the part of the recruiter or hiring personnel

While some submission portals allow for PDF files, a Microsoft Word document should be your default format. Be sure to check any submission guidelines to ensure you submit a file format that can be read by both a human and any resume-scanning software.  

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