Top 10 Things Not To Put on a Job Application

Top 10 Things Not To Put on a Job Application

When you have applied for a job with your resume and cover letter and are also asked to complete a job application, don’t presume it’s secondary and doesn’t matter very much.

Many employers require candidates for employment to submit a job application in addition to a resume and cover letter. Your application will be screened, and it can be just as important in helping you get selected for an interview as your other materials.

What you convey about your background and how you state it on the application can influence how you are perceived by employers.  Incorporating the wrong information or completing the application in a careless manner can determine whether or not you get hired.

Top 10 Things Not to Put on a Job Application

Here are the top ten things you should leave off your job application to increase your chance of getting selected to interview. Review these mistakes so you can avoid making them.

Information that doesn’t match your resume. Facts or information which doesn’t match what you stated in your resume or cover letter will be a red flag for a prospective employer. Be consistent, or you will dilute the credibility of your candidacy. 

Misspellings or grammatical errors. Employers will draw negative conclusions about your writing skills and attentiveness to detail if your application has errors. One way to be sure it’s perfect is to copy and paste sections of your online applications into a grammar and spelling checker prior to submitting them. You can use Grammarly to proofread your information quickly for free.

 Anything false or which stretches the truth. Your application will remain part of your employee file, and any falsifications can be grounds for withdrawing a job offer or even terminating your employment.

Salary expectations which are too high or too low. Make sure you research the market for your job and state a figure which is in line.  Many candidates choose to dodge this question and say something like “negotiable.” 

Blank sections of the application. Don’t fail to complete all sections of the application even if the information overlaps with your resume. Referring the employer to your resume can make you seem lazy.  Some employers will screen candidates based on application information and will not be looking at your resume at the same time.

Position descriptions that are too long. Employers may not take the time to read overly dense sections of your application and could miss out on some key information. Keep your descriptions concise and focused.

Lists of tasks. Don’t simply post a job description or a list of tasks even if the section is labeled as Job Responsibilities. Focus on skills and accomplishments not just job duties so you can make it clear how you have added value.

The same job descriptions. Don’t describe your experiences in the same way for each job you have held. Tailor your descriptions to the requirements of each position and emphasize the most relevant components of your past experiences.

Negative reasons for leaving a job. Applications will often have a section for Reasons for Leaving. A negative reference to past employers can bring into question your attitude or performance.  You will be better served by mentioning a move to a better job, perhaps one which tapped skills similar to the job for which you are applying. Review these tips for listing reasons for leaving on a job application.

Sloppy writing on paper applications. Employers value neatness. Take your time, print neatly and don’t be afraid to ask for another copy if you have made a mistake. 

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  • August 26, 2022