Applying for a job can be stressful. You can find yourself caught between optimism about the jobs you’ve applied for and stress that you may not get a job at all. There are many things you should do when you apply for a job, but there’s an equally long lists of don’ts. That’s because some actions and behaviors can really hinder your job hunt and are best avoided.
Here is a list of what NOT to do when you apply for a job.
1. Submit a Job Application, Resume or Cover Letter with Typos
2. Forget Your Employment History
3. Tell Everyone You’re Job Searching
4. Take Advantage of Your Connections
5. Dress Inappropriately
6. Forget Your Resume
7. Keep Your Phone On
8. Bring Your Parents or Friends
9. Be Coy or Mysterious About When You’re Available
10. Act Unprofessionally
Check your resume, cover letter, and every single email you send for grammar and spelling — even if it’s just a quick email to a networking contact. If you submit a job application with a typo, it can knock you out of contention for a job. Always, always triple-check the spelling of the company and contact names, too — those mistakes are particularly eye-catching.
When you apply for jobs, whether it’s online or in-person, employers expect you to know your employment history, including dates of employment, job titles, and company information for each job you’ve held. If you don’t properly fill out this information, it makes the hiring agent question your seriousness for the position.
It can be a good idea to tell everyone you know you’re job searching — if you’re unemployed. If you have a job and you want to keep it, be very careful who you tell that you’re job searching. Also, make sure that you’re using tools to keep your job search confidential. You don’t want your boss to hear you’re looking and possibly jeopardize the job you currently hold.
It’s appropriate to use your connections to help you get a job. However, it’s not appropriate to try to bypass the hiring process in order to try to get hired. Use your connections carefully and make sure they are advocating for your candidacy in a professional manner.
Don’t wear jeans or shorts, tank tops, crop tops or anything too low cut or too short. Don’t wear spike heels, platforms, flip flops, or your favorite pair of old sneakers. It is always important to be neat, tidy, and well-groomed and to present a positive image of yourself to the employer.
When applying for jobs in-person and when interviewing, bringing clean, crisp, extra copies of your resume is a good idea. Also, consider bringing your grades transcript as well if you’re interviewing for an academic-related position.
Filling out a job application or an interview isn’t a place to sneak in a few texts. If your phone is constantly beeping or ringing, it creates a very distracting environment and reflects poorly on you. So, make it a priority to turn your phone off (or place it on silent mode) and stow it away in your bag or pocket.
Applying for jobs or going to a job interview are solo activities. Leave your parents, friends, or significant others at home. The only time this would not apply is if you and your friends were applying at a company that was hiring for several positions.
Be honest with your prospective employer about when it’s feasible to work. If you can’t work evening shifts, for example, don’t hedge during the interview. You don’t want to end up taking on more hours than you can handle or commit to a schedule that won’t work out, inconveniencing both yourself and your employer.
No matter how difficult your job search is, make an effort to greet everyone you come in contact with kindly, and be active and engaged during the application process. Be outgoing and positive, even if you don’t feel that way … because you never know who is watching and you don’t want them reporting back with negative information.
Employers are evaluating more than your words during the application process. Your actions and non-verbal expressions tell a lot about your character, and if you aren’t careful, they can send the wrong message to your interviewers. Reviewing these tips will help you make sure your actions measure up and allow you to possibly land your future job.
(written by: Whitney)