Handle Applications with Care

One time back when I was in a position to hire employees, I received 125 applications for one vacancy in our computer support section. Since we were expecting many applicants, we were careful to include detailed job requirements in the ad. Even so, all but 14 of the 125 applicants were elimi­nated in the first pass.

Here’s why. Qualifications didn’t match job requirements, résumés were slanted for a differ­ent position, poor handwriting on applica­tion made it impossible to read, missing phone numbers and addresses, and résumés difficult to read

Some of the eliminated appli­cants were probably qualified for the posi­tion but they didn’t provide enough information to let me know. The qualifications given by many appli­cants simply didn’t match the job description, but I was astonished by the number of other problems.

Several applications were un­read­able because of poor handwrit­ing. One cover letter had no ad­dress, no phone number, and it ref­erenced a résumé I couldn’t find. One ré­sumé had the person’s ad­dress only on the last page hidden in the text. Some résumés were clearly slanted for a different type of job.

Many résumés were too long and quite a few had abbreviations and acronyms that couldn’t be deci­phered. Some applicants included addresses without city or zip code. At least one résumé was in all capi­tal letters. It was difficult to read and boring. Unusual type and blurry facsimile transmissions are distract­ing. There were many mis­spelled words in cover letters and grammat­ical errors such as “duties was…” instead of “duties were…”

Many job applications are online. There is less chance of making some of the errors mentioned above. However, you still need to be careful while filling out online forms. Read the application procedures before starting and make sure you following the rules. You may want to ask someone else to review your application information before hitting the submit button.

The application is the em­ployer’s first look at you. Take your time completing it to make the best impression possible.


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Sidney W. Frost, B.A., M.S.

The author's job-search advice has appeared in more than forty newspapers and other publications around the country. He has worked as a corporate recruiter in information technology and, as an IT supervisor has reviewed many applications and held many interviews over the years in both the private and public sector. His knowledge of the emotional impact of a job loss comes from his own experience as well as training received to help people who have lost jobs and faced other losses.

Mr. Frost is also the author of the Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide which is available in paperback and Kindle editions as well as two inspirational novels. See http://sidneywfrost.com/ for information. His other blog, The Christian Bookmobile/ talks about reading and writing.

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