These 4 Mistakes Could Kill Your Chances of Being Hired

Looking for a job? Make sure to avoid these four major mistakes.

Christy Bieber
Christy Bieber
May 16, 2019 at 8:17AM
Investment Planning

When you're looking for a job, there's nothing more frustrating than not getting a reply to your application -- except getting an interview and not landing the position. Unfortunately, many job seekers find themselves facing these exact situations.

Sometimes, this is because of sheer chance -- maybe a better candidate happened to be hired first. However, there are also certain mistakes that make it much less likely you'll get picked. To avoid faux pas that could cost you the job of your dreams, here are four to avoid.

Woman shaking hands with male interviewer at job interview.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Sending a long, boring resume

According to Glassdoor, around 250 resumes are sent for each corporate job opening. That's a whole lot of resumes -- and hiring managers don't have time to read every one in detail. This is especially true if your resume reads like a book.

Your resume shouldn't be more than a page or two and should highlight only the most relevant qualifications and skills. No hiring manager wants to hear about the unrelated job you had 10 years ago or your objectives for your career. Include only pertinent experience, make your resume concise, and focus on the job skills the company is looking for. If you make the mistake of including too much irrelevant info, your resume is likely to be classified as "tl;dr" (too long/didn't read) and find its way to the trash. 

2. Using social media the wrong way

Social media can either help or hurt you in your job hunt. Obviously, if your Facebook page is full of pictures of you getting intoxicated interspersed with details about how much you hate your job, it's not going to make you look good to potential employers. But you don't want to forgo social media accounts, either -- research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 84% of organizations currently recruit using social media and another 9% plan to in the future. 

To leverage social media to find the job of your dreams, keep your LinkedIn profile and other accounts current. Share your professional successes on your sites, and consider joining groups related to your profession. You'll be able to network and get to know people in your industry who can give you an introduction at their organizations. You may even be recruited by a company when you're not actively looking for a job -- 82% or organizations list passive recruitment as the top reason they use social media during the hiring process. While it may seem like a lot of hassle to maintain professional accounts online, not doing so could close you off from many important opportunities. 


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3. Typos in your application material

Resumes with typos were the most common mistake that prompted hiring managers to pass over a candidate, according to a CareerBuilder survey. In fact, a survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals revealed 58% would dismiss a candidate because of typos. You're also unlikely to hear back from an employer if your resume contains the wrong contact info, such as an outdated email address or phone number. After all, if an employer tries to contact you with incorrect info, you'd probably never know it. 

To avoid mistakes on your resume, proofread carefully before you submit it -- and consider asking a friend to act as a second set of eyes. You should also make sure all other application materials, including cover letters and online forms, are mistake-free. It takes only a few extra minutes to look for spelling errors, misused words, and other problems, but it could make all the difference in whether you're hired. 

4. Forgoing the thank-you note

According to a recent survey conducted by TopResume, close to a third of job seekers don't send thank-you notes after every interview and 7% admitted they never send one at all. This is not just bad manners, but it's also bad practice if you want to actually get hired. You'd be surprised how big of an impact a thank-you note can make. TopResume's survey found that 68% of hiring managers and recruiters take thank-you notes into account during the decision-making process and close to one in five interviewers have passed over a candidate who didn't send a note of gratitude. 

The last thing you want is to ace an interview but end up missing out on an opportunity because you couldn't take the time to send over a quick note. It takes just a few minutes to write an email or send a letter, and doing so clearly could make all the difference. 

Don't make these mistakes in your job hunt

It can be hard enough to land the right job -- it's even worse when a silly mistake costs you a chance to get one. Fortunately, avoiding these four errors isn't hard. Just make sure you write a tight resume, check it carefully for mistakes, write a thank-you note, and maintain an active presence on social media. If you're able to do all that successfully, you're a lot closer to being considered the ideal candidate the next time you apply for a position.