Recruiters are known to toss resumes aside without even reading them—follow our checklist to ensure your application is up-to-scratch and you avoid the rejection pile.
Attention to detail has tripped up many otherwise excellent candidates. Like not including the requested information, such as a cover letter or work examples. Or the big stuff ups, like addressing the cover letter to the wrong company.
Ask a friend to review your work
Don’t rely on your computer. Proof your resume and cover letter carefully. Even better - ask a friend to check for you, with a fresh pair of eyes.
Avoid grammatical mistakes
Watch out for switching tenses, capitalisation of proper nouns, and consistency with formats such as dates.
Check your punctuation
Check that there is a full stop at the end of each sentence, avoid exclamation marks and be consistent with your style.
Make sure you use the correct words
There are a number of words in the English language that are easily confused, like affect/effect, personal/personnel and role/roll just to name a few.
Is your resume accurate?
Have you included the correct company name, address and your own contact details? Are the dates on your experience correct?
Address the selection criteria
This seems obvious, but why do so many applicants miss this crucial step? It takes just a few minutes to review the job advertisement and find the short list of items considered essential or highly desirable for the role. Taking the time to briefly address each of them could help you avoid the rejection pile.
Be mindful of resume length
This can vary according to industry, role and application criteria. One or two pages is usually sufficient to get a recruiter’s attention. You will have an opportunity during the interview to discuss your experience and work history in detail.
Applications sent after cut-off date
Some job sites leave advertisements up for a set amount of time, like a month. This means that you may read an advertisement after the cut-off date. To avoid wasting your time, always check this carefully.
Don’t get too personal
Leave out your salary history, age, sex, race, marital status and other personal information.
If you are serious about job hunting, mistakes should not be an issue. After all, even one spelling mistake can see your resume tossed to the rejection pile. You may think that’s dramatic, but when all the recruiter has to go on is a few written pages, silly mistakes leave a bad impression.