Being an IT recruiter, I review tons of resumes each and every day. When reviewing resume after resume, it is very exciting to read a strong job application. After noticing some common patterns among many of the resumes, I thought it would be beneficial to write about the 5 common mistakes made in online job applications.
1. General subject lines. General subject lines such as “John Smith Resume” or “John Smith” used in emails may seem like a good idea, but there is a much more advantageous way to catch the attention of the hiring manager/recruiter right off the bat. Instead, start writing your subject lines by using your name and then following with the exact position you are applying for and the company name if wanted. For example, “John Smith for Project Control Officer at RBC” states the exact position you are applying for without making anyone second guess.
2. Not summarizing skills/abilities in the email. If you really want to ensure that the hiring manager will review your resume, list in bullet points your key skills/achievements that are relevant to the position you are applying for. It is the quickest and most efficient way for you to sell yourself within the first thirty seconds of your application being reviewed.
3. General applications. Although we love to receive resumes, receiving ones which are just general and contain no information about your skills/abilities do not serve that much of a purpose. A resume is supposed to be a way for you to endorse yourself as well as let us know where you would like your career to advance to. Basically, avoid sending general applications and always be specific about the opportunity you are applying for.
4. Not including your location. If you are open to employment in cities that are not in your current area of employment, please include that in the body of your job application email. Otherwise, you may be overlooked for opportunities just because you are not currently situated there. Also, when applying for an international job, if you are legally entitled to work in that country, be sure to say this in your resume. This gives you a better chance at being considered for the opportunity.
5. Not including your contact information. Even though this seems like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many resumes do not contain phone numbers or email addresses. Including at least two methods of contact is the best way to ensure that every hiring manger/recruiter will be able to get a hold of you.
Here’s a template you can use as a basis for a job application email. Remember to attach your resume.
Next time you are sending in a job application, try to think of these tips in order to better your chances of getting an interview. If you can think of any other common job application mistakes, feel free to send them to me!