12 Common Mistakes Job Applicants Make and How to Avoid Them

How to Get Noticed by Employers for All the Wrong Reasons: 12 Common Job Application Mistakes to Avoid

Job hunting can be a daunting task, and even the most experienced applicants can make mistakes that can ruin their chances of getting hired. While a few small mistakes can be overlooked by a recruiter, some blunders are egregious enough to ensure that your application gets thrown in the trash bin. To avoid getting noticed for all the wrong reasons, here are 12 common job application mistakes to steer clear of:

Cover Letter and Resume

1. Spelling mistakes: The first step to creating a good impression is to avoid spelling and grammatical errors. A cover letter and resume filled with typos, fragments, and incomplete sentences give the impression that you don’t pay attention to detail. Use spell check and get someone else to review your application before submitting it.

2. Applying more than once for the same job: Applying for the same position multiple times won’t help your cause. Instead, it can be seen as a lack of patience and professionalism. Job applications involve a lot of effort from the recruiter’s side, so don’t waste their time by reapplying for the same job.

3. Not Being Truthful: Lying on a job application is a big no-no. Don’t exaggerate your qualifications, work experience, or job responsibilities. Always tell the truth and be honest about any gaps in your employment history.

4. Leaving Big Gaps in Time: A resume should be a chronology of your work experience, so it is essential to fill in the timeline with the correct dates and job titles. Any gaps in your resume will raise questions, and the recruiter may assume that you were out of work during that time. Be transparent about what you did during those years, whether it was traveling, volunteering, or pursuing other interests.


5. Being Late: Arriving late for an interview is a cardinal sin and can instantly ruin your chances of getting hired. Always be on time and, if possible, arrive a few minutes early to demonstrate your punctuality and preparedness.

6. Chewing Gum: Chewing gum during an interview can be seen as unprofessional and distracting. It would be best if you didn’t consume any food or drink during an interview unless the interviewer offers you something to drink.

7. Not Turning Off Your Phone or Tablet: Always ensure that your mobile devices are turned off during an interview. A ringing phone during an interview can be embarrassing and disrupt the flow of the conversation. It’s essential to show respect for the interviewer’s time.

8. Interrupting the Recruiter: Interrupting someone who’s speaking can be interpreted as a lack of patience or arrogance. Always wait for the person to finish speaking before you respond. It shows that you are a good listener and can maintain a healthy exchange of ideas.

Social Media

9. Posting Compromising Pictures: Employers typically check social media profiles when considering a candidate. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you don’t have any compromising pictures or comments that can raise concerns about your judgment.

10. Swearing and Using Aggressive Language: Any derogatory language or comments can be perceived negatively by potential employers. Keep your social media profiles clean and neutral to avoid raising any doubts about your professionalism and character.

Other Bad Things Job Applicants Do

11. Calling and Emailing the Recruiter Over and Over: Following up after an interview is essential but calling or emailing every other day won’t help your cause. It can be frustrating for the recruiter, who may have hundreds of other applications to consider. Instead, wait for a response or ask the interviewer how long you should wait before following up.

12. Being Rude When You Don’t Get a Job: Rejection is a part of the job hunting process, and it’s essential not to take it personally. Posting negative comments about the employer or the job on social media can hurt your chances of getting hired in the future.


Job hunting can be a challenging process, but avoiding these common mistakes can help you increase your chances of getting hired. Remember that employers are looking for candidates with a combination of skills, experience, and character. By presenting yourself in the best possible light and avoiding these common job application mistakes, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for the job you really want.

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