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Five Major Mistakes When Applying To Jobs

Gabe Ruiz, Feb, 25 2021 | 8 min read

  
Career Advice: Five mistakes when applying to jobs - woman on computer

In this blog, I am going to be going over five of the most common mistakes an individual makes when in the market for a new job. The goal of this is to help you realize your full potential, help you build a clear path, and get you the job of your dreams! 

We are going to be covering the following topics: 

  1. Typos, Typos, Typos
  2. Stop Wasting Time Applying To Irrelevant Jobs 
  3. Non-Tailored Resume
  4. Oops I Did It Again… I Forgot To Change The Name On The Cover Letter
  5. Celebrate Wins


 

1 - Typos - You’ve got to do better

Your resume is your FIRST impression with a potential employer. You’ve likely spent hours on your resume and applying for jobs - do you really want to be passed over in a matter of seconds because there is a glaring typo on your resume? I dare say, no, you do not.

So, what is the best way to overcome the dreaded typo? How can you ensure that you come in first place in your own resume spelling bee? There are several kinds of online resources that you can use, here are two of my favorite!

  1. Grammarly (a digital writing assistance tool based on artificial intelligence and natural language processing.)

  2. Trinka AI (another grammar and language tool for academic and technical writing)

  3. Bonus: Phone a friend - ask a friend or family member to double-check for a fresh set of eyes.


At the end of the day, your goal is to land a job. Re-reading your resume, checking it not once, not twice but at least three times, is mile 24 of the marathon. You’re already there, you just need to finish strong!


2 - Learn from David Rose… Only Apply to RELEVANT Jobs

Do you remember the episode of Schitt's Creek where David Rose goes with Stevie to apply for an airline flight attendant position? No? Well, here is a quick recap… David Rose is a business owner who recently opened his own company, but he wanted to go with his best friend Stevie to apply for this position as a flight attendant simply to prove he could. Long story short, he thought he was going to do AMAZING, turns out he was cut after the first round. 

You may be thinking, "GABE WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS??" 

I bring this story up because too often we are so eager to find a job, that we start applying to jobs that are nowhere in the path that our career is going. David thought that he was wronged for being cut after the first round, as are many of us when we get those rejection letters. However, his passion was never to work for an airline. His passion laid elsewhere, and that is great! You too have passion, you have a mission in life that you want to complete. Do not waste time applying to jobs that are not leading you to your end goal, that time can be spent making sure you apply to the correct jobs, or at least jobs that get you closer to your end goal! This leads me to my next point…

Be like David, follow your passion, and only do things if it’s “in your brand.


3 - Tailor your resume so you can tailor your interview suit

We get it, the job hunt, well, sucks! That’s probably the nicest way to put that… It is not fun, it is time-consuming, not to mention the emotional toll it takes on you. And to top it all off, making your resume, changing your resume, adding things, and taking things away from your resume all add up, and it can be frankly, exhausting and annoying.

This is why most candidates tend to make a generalized resume, one that does not showcase their skills, accomplishments, or potential. Let me say this loud and clear: this is HURTING YOUR CHANCES OF BEING SEEN!  
When I have my career coaching sessions, I tell each individual you should have four to five specialized resumes and one generalized resume.

Example: If you are a Software Engineer, great! Unfortunately, “Software Engineer” is a loaded term, because that can mean A LOT of things… You can be a front-end developer, a back-end developer, you can be a JavaScript Developer. Your experience is unique, and you need to find a way to showcase the exact things that you did outside of an ambiguous title. Going above and beyond shows dedication to the job search, shows that you know what you are good at, and most importantly shows the hiring manager that you know what you applied for! 

Recommended Types of Software Engineer Resumes:

  • Front-End Engineer Resume

  • Full-Stack Engineer Resume

  • Back-End Engineer Resume

  • JavaScript Engineer Resume


While each of these resumes have similarities, each of them brings unique skills, languages, and keywords that CANNOT BE CAPTURED BY A GENERALIZED RESUME.
This is why it is so important to make sure that you have different resumes for different job applications. It gets your resume past the clutches of that software that scans each resume and into the hands of the hiring manager! You've got this! 


4 - Oops I did it again… 

Isn’t it the worst feeling hitting the submit button and realizing that you forgot to change the name of the company in your cover letter?

Picture it: You just filled out the questions the exact way you wanted to, you have all of the documents that need to be sent, and you finally press the submit button, all to realize that you forgot to change the name of the company on the cover letter!!! NOOOOOO, that sinking feeling hits you hard! 

While I know this may seem odd, and maybe you haven’t had this situation come across before, this happens way too often. 

A cover letter is your way of telling the story of you, and everything that you can bring to the company. Like your resume, you should have 4 to 5 specialized Cover Letters for various roles, and companies. A recruiter can smell out the generalized cover letters, they know when it’s just a mere template in your Google drive. Make sure that your cover letter has all of your skills necessary for that job, but MOST IMPORTANTLY: Remember to change the name of the company in the cover letter, and in the file name. 

Your file name can look something like “Tech Talent South – Cover Letter – Gabe Ruiz.” This gives the hiring manager a quick glimpse into what the document is, and who it is from. Not to mention highlighting your fabulous attention to detail early on.


5 - Lastly, Two is better than one

The job hunt is a roller coaster ride. From applying to a company you love, to rejection after rejection, to finally landing your dream job. Like any roller coaster, it is most enjoyed when it is with a friend. Find a job hunt buddy and celebrate all of your wins and all of your losses, because each application submission, each rejection is only leading you to your end goal! 

When I was searching for the next step in my career, my job hunt buddy was Suitcase Coder, a.k.a Laura Ruiz Roehrs, a now instructor at Tech Talent South. We celebrated each application I submitted, and each rejection I got until I got the call from Tech Talent South. 2 years later, I am still with the company! 

Three things we held each other accountable for were:

  • Job application tracking – You can use Trello, Notion, or just a plain Google Sheet

  • Connecting with at least 10 industry experts or hiring managers on LinkedIn

  • No matter what the outcome of an application, we ALWAYS celebrated it. 

I have said this before, and I will say it again. YOU CAN DO IT, the road is rough, but the prize is big! 

 


 

About the author

Gabe Ruiz, Director of Experience & Advancement at Tech Talent South
Owner of CareerStack
IG - @careerstack
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/gruiz2011

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