Despite a barrage of online applications from job seekers through job portals, recruiters are often left with very few “worthwhile” applications. Most candidates commit seven cardinal sins and lose out on a good opportunity. We tell you what they are and why they should be avoided at all costs, especially when you are applying online.
Don’t just click on the “apply” button on a portal. Whenever possible, preview your résumé and edit it to suit the position. Evaluate each job and customize your application to showcase the skills that are most relevant.
Many job searchers often send group emails and generic résumés to recruiters. This is the worst mistake they can make, and cuts a very shabby picture by showing the applicant’s desperation and lackadaisical attitude. Such a person in all probability never becomes the first preference of the employer.
Checklist: Always mention salary or location expectations
Pay attention to detail and format the résumé in a way that draws attention to relevant skills. Give all the required information in a concise manner.
Job seekers should make an effort to go through the job description in detail, figure out the job requirements and highlight why they are best suited for the profile in terms of their experience and skill set in the cover letter.
The recruiters are only going to look at applications that are complete. Don’t leave recruiters guessing. Prospective employees should register themselves online by filling in their details on the job portal, then upload their résumé, and finally, write a cover letter. Job seekers must share all the necessary information: personal details, educational qualifications, as well as particulars about current and previous organizations. The biggest blunder one can commit is to send the application without contact numbers.
Another frequent omission is salary or location expectations—candidates assume these can be discussed at a later stage, but recruiters have budgets set for each position, and not knowing the expected salary may well lead to the rejection of an applicant.
Not following instructions
Candidates must follow all the instructions shared by an employer when applying online. If a recruiter specifies that phone calls are not welcome, do not call.
Applying in a hurry
Organizations hire on the basis of what the candidate brings to the table, and not on a first-come, first-served basis. Never rush! Double-check the application for details on the job, résumé and cover letter before sending it to the prospective employer. Applications and cover letters filled with typos accompanied with unformatted résumés create a negative impression. The worst is forgetting to attach the résumé altogether.
Flashy formatting, fancy footers, flamboyant language and personal pleas are not going to attract the interest of a recruiter. And if they do, it’ll be for a chuckle before they move on to another, more professional, résumé.
Not following up
If you don’t hear from a recruiter in a week, follow up. Don’t call or mail daily, but rather be polite and show interest in the position while enquiring about your application. Ensure receipt of the application at the very least.
Not blocking your current employer
If your organization knows you are looking for a job, they will assume that you are in exit mode and leave you out of meetings and events, and seriously hamper growth in the current organization. This will place you in the position of having to take up the first offer that comes, even if it is not what you want. Also, remember that searching for jobs from the office is a complete no-no. Be discreet, and keep your current employers blocked until the papers are signed.
Sanjay Modi is managing director, Monster.com for India, West Asia and South-East Asia.
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