These job-application mistakes can ruin your chances of landing the job.

It has happened to most of us: You sent in your job application online and anxiously waited by the computer, only to never hear back from the hiring manager ... again. Ever wonder what you did wrong? Of course, the job market is extremely competitive, with an influx of graduates coming in year after year looking for their first jobs. However, that may not be the only reason you're not getting a good response from your job applications. You might be making one of these six biggest job-application mistakes that send your resume straight into the reject pile.

Not following the application procedure

You've been taught to follow directions since grade school, so put that skill to good use! Read the application procedure thoroughly and follow the directions. If the company requires you to attach a cover letter with the application form, don't forget to attach one. Should the company want you to take an online test in addition to filling out the application, make sure that you complete the test along with your submission.

Making a small mistake, like leaving a required section blank in your application form, can easily get your resume ignored or even trashed. It's always a good idea to get someone else to reread your application form prior to submitting so that you don't make otherwise easily avoidable application mistakes.

Poor email etiquette

If you sent a job application via email and did not hear back from the hiring manager, recheck your email and ensure that you didn't make some of these cringe-worthy mistakes that turn hiring managers off.

First of all, make sure that your email has a subject line that's professional, concise, and relevant. Additionally, your email address should reflect professionalism. For example, emails such as will be a turnoff for most potential employers.

Another email etiquette mistake that applicants often unknowingly make is using poor grammar and punctuation. Nobody needs to know that you're confused with the use of you're and your. Websites like Grammarly are free and easy resources that are readily available to help you with these technicalities. Another turnoff for hiring managers is when you misspell their name. You saying “ Dear Valorie, hope you have a great week ahead!” will certainly not help make Valerie's day any better!

Submitting a poorly-written resume

Sites, like ResumeRabbit, are extremely useful when it comes to your job search, as they can post your resume to hundreds of job-posting websites within a few hours. However, imagine the horror if you happened to make a silly mistake on your resume and it gets posted to all these promising websites! Since most hiring managers still use resumes as a basis to evaluate applicants in the recruitment process, make sure you avoid these common resume deal-breakers:

  • Grammatical errors

  • Missing contact information

  • Irrelevant/outdated information

You can use resume-writing services, such as TopResume, to get your resume reviewed for free to avoid making these costly job-application mistakes!

Not customizing your cover letter to the job posting

While you should always tailor your resume to the job posting, you also need to make sure you're customizing your cover letter to suit the job description. Your cover letter is basically a sales pitch to convince the hiring manager why the position interests you and why you're the best candidate for the job. Employers can spot a generic cover letter from miles away, and your application will surely be tossed into the trash if you choose to go down that road!

Be sure to diligently research the company and tactfully highlight your skills that match what the organization is looking for. Your cover letter is also a great platform to let the hiring manager get a glimpse of your personality and convince them that you're a great fit for the company's culture. Use this tool wisely when you submit a job application online.

Applying for multiple positions at the same company

When you desperately need a job to pay the bills, you might be tempted to apply to every job opening that you come across, even if there are multiple ones from the same company. While this move might appear to increase your chances of landing a job, it could actually reflect badly on you and backfire! This is one of the common online job-application mistakes that newbies make. When you apply to multiple positions at the same company, employers will assume that you're either not taking the job search seriously or have no idea what career path you really want to take. Either way, it leaves a bad impression of you and makes it appear that you're not passionate about any particular field.

Lying on your job application

One of the main reasons many employers don't use resumes as the sole deciding factor in hiring someone is the fact that many applicants still lie on their resumes. Please don't ever make this job-application mistake.

The moment your recruiter figures out you lied, you can kiss the opportunity to work with that organization goodbye. Even if you somehow get through the recruitment process without getting caught, the truth will come out eventually and your employer will never be able to trust you again. Worse still, if they know other hiring managers in the industry you're looking at, they might talk about you and consequently give you a bad name to other organizations as well. You can fix this job-application mistake by simply telling the truth!

At the end of the day, avoiding these online job-application mistakes will help you achieve job-search success! Be vigilant — not sloppy — when it comes to your job search.

Is your resume ready to be submitted along with your online job applications?  We at TopResume can review your resume for free and let you know! Try it today.

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