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Job hunting can be a stressful process, whether you’re a recent college grad or you’re looking for a career change. The exciting part comes in to play when you finally find a job listing that feels like a good fit! The position being offered aligns with your career goals and the work seems interesting – all you have to do is land an interview.

That, my friends, is easier said than done. From polishing your resume to crafting the perfect cover letter, a lot of planning goes in to actually landing an interview with a company. Simply having a cover letter and resume doesn’t automatically translate into a face-to-face meeting.

At SEOM Interactive, we’ve had a number of applications come in with glaringly obvious errors that made them stand out for all of the wrong reasons. If you’ve ever been passed over when it comes to getting a job interview, you may have made one of these mistakes:

You Didn’t Follow The Application Instructions.
If a job description asks for a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements, include all 3 elements in your application. Failing to include any of these items shows a poor attention to detail. This helps hiring managers weed out the unworthy right from the get-go. Read the job description and application instructions a few times over before submitting your application.

You Had Poor Resume Etiquette.
A resume is supposed to be a brief account of one’s experience and qualifications within a particular field. A resume is not a four-page life story. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. If your resume becomes longer than a page, and you have less than five years of experience under your belt, remove the skills and experience that aren’t relevant to the position. Also keep in mind the different modes your resume may be viewed in. Word documents, while perfectly formatted when you view it, can look like a disaster when viewed in preview mode. Submit your resume as a PDF.

You Didn’t Proofread.
From your resume to your cover letter, introductory email, and writing samples, proofreading is vital! Read and re-read every element of your application before submitting. Have a friend or colleague eyeball your application to ensure your spelling is correct (particularly when it comes to the name of the company) and that there are no grammatical errors before you hit send.

You Took The Easy Way Out.
Jobs listed on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed have an “easy apply” button. All of your information is saved in their system, and all you have to do is click “Apply.” Don’t do this! Always attach a resume and cover letter to express your interest and highlight your skills. Countless others are simply clicking to apply; stand out by taking the extra steps.

You Attached The Wrong Cover Letter Or Resume.
It’s not often that you submit one application and call it a day. If you’re looking for a job, you’re probably applying to a handful of companies with different titles for each role you’re applying for. Make sure you mention the proper position and name of the company in your cover letter. Additionally, make sure you’re sending the right resume along. Don’t send a resume with a mechanical engineering objective when you’re applying for a job in social media.

You Took Too Many Risks.
It’s important to stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for a job, but when you take too many risks to do so, it can work against you. Don’t send your resume in a fancy font no one can read. Don’t quote Dr. Seuss in your cover letter (unless of course you’re entering the field of children’s literature). Don’t submit a photo (unless you’re applying for an acting gig).

The simplest error can leave a bad taste in a potential employer’s mouth. Trust us; we’ve seen it happen. Avoid these mistakes and you’re sure to land an interview. Best of luck in your job search!

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