After employers have placed a job ad, they might have to go through hundreds of resumes to sort out which candidates they would like to interview. Why not give yourself a fighting chance by avoiding these pitfalls?
Not Qualified for the Job:
Why apply for a job that you are not qualified for? You shouldn't apply for a job when you do not have the essential skills being sought. Of course, if you have the skills, and are just shy some experience, you can certainly try. But if they are looking for someone with 5 years experience, and you only have 2 year's worth, you will likely not get the job. And that's wasting an employer's time.
One of the biggest time wasters is people that apply for jobs they aren't sure they really want. When you apply for a job, whether through an employment agency, or through an employer directly, make sure you would be ready to take the job should it be offered to you. If you aren't, if you haven't talked to your family about it, or you aren't sure you're ready to leave your present employer, don't wait and see if they call you before deciding if you want the job. Of course, it's okay to change your mind later, but if you aren't sure in the first place, why waste their time?
You might not see it as lying, but essentially, it isn't too far off. Saying you are qualified at a certain aspect of the job requirement when you clearly aren't is a waste of time. We once had someone apply to us for a job that required French language skills who couldn't speak a word of French, despite his resume implying he could. Obviously on essential skills, you will likely get tested or evaluated somehow. Exaggerating to get a job is definitely NOT the way to go.
Nothing slows down an employer like having to figure out what the heck your previous job was, and reading through a 10 page resume. Some job titles aren't really clear, so make sure you explain what the major duties and requirements were of your past jobs, that way employers know what skills you have and what sort of work you can do. Your resume should be succinct and to the point. It should not exceed two pages at the most. Avoid wordy paragraphs about your life goals. Your resume should tell the employer what you skills are and really, be a walking endorsement of your abilities, confidence, and previous experience.
Make sure there aren't any typos or spelling mistakes. Some common ones are "alot", "seperately", and "definately". Check with a dictionary if you aren't sure of a word before submitting your resume. If they hire you, you will be a reflection of the company and they will be looking for someone who presents an accurate, professional, and careful representative.
If an employer looking for email resumes says they don't want you to include an attachment but would rather see your resume in the body of an email message, why wouldn't you do that? Many companies won't open attachments for security reasons and when you are not following instructions on how to apply for a job, you are telling employers you don't care. It shows a lack of respect and an inability to listen to directions, two things employers are certainly not looking for. Take the time to find out how employers want you to apply for a position. Then follow the instructions. If your resume isn't properly formatted for an email message, do up a plain text version of your resume so that, you'll have it for those employers not wanting a Word version. If you can't follow simple application instructions, how will you be able to do the job?
Not following instructions, applying for a job you aren't qualified for, and having an unprofessional resume are all ways to indicate to an employer that you aren't really serious about applying for a job. Why not increase your chances of being hired by making sure you don't waste their time or yours?