Before You Hit Send: 5 Common Job Seeker Mistakes

Before You Hit Send: 5 Common Job Seeker Mistakes

Job Seeker
(Image: Keating)

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is not customizing their resume to each position. “Workers realize that the job market is stronger than it has been over the last eight years, and technology is allowing them to pursue new opportunities faster and more efficiently than ever,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “But, just because they are able to submit an application easier, doesn’t mean candidates can skip basic steps — or requirements — like submitting a cover letter or customizing their resumes. These items get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, and leaving them out of the process can hurt a job seeker’s chances of securing a new job.”

The survey also revealed a few other common job seeker mistakes which could derail your job application. Below, check out the tips compiled by Haefner:

  • 54% of job seekers don’t customize their resume for each employer — Employers can spot all-purpose resumes from a mile away. Tailor your resume to match the job description by inserting key words used in the job posting that match your experience. Not only will this catch the eye of the hiring manager, but it can move your resume to the top of the pile if an automated tracking system is scanning resumes for potential candidates.
  • 84% of job seekers don’t find out the hiring manager’s name and personalize the application — Applying directly to the hiring managers increases your chances of getting noticed and shows you’ve gone that extra step and invested time in getting to know the company.
  • 45% of job seekers don’t include a cover letter with their resume — Cover letters allow a candidate the opportunity to sell themselves beyond the typical listing of work experience and skills in a resume. Use a cover letter to introduce yourself and showcase your credentials in a relatable way.
  • 37% of job seekers don’t follow up with an employer after they applied — Recruiters can sometimes be overwhelmed by candidate applications for certain open jobs. Circling back with a recruiter or hiring manager after submitting a cover letter and resume can help job seekers standout among the competition.
  • 57% of job seekers don’t send thank you notes after an interview — This can be one of the most important steps in a candidate’s pre-hire journey, as it enables you to reiterate why you’re the best fit for the job. Most recruiters and hiring managers expect a thank you note in some form or another (email or handwritten), so neglecting this action will make you stick out like a sore thumb. Thank you notes should be sent after phone screening calls as well.

Haefner also shared a few additional tips about positioning yourself for success during the job search process, read more here. You can also join Rosemary Haefner on July 29 at 10:30 a.m. CST for a Facebook Live presentation on how to improve your personal brand. Visit