From there, you have to fill out an application, present a resume, get chosen for an interview, get past the second round of interviews, then pass your drug test. That is quite a few hurdles to get over before you get a company login. And the sad truth is that the vast majority of people never make it past the application process.
There are a number of errors that cause applicants to never get a serious consideration and which happen at the paperwork phase. We’re not even considering discriminatory practices over which you have no control. We are just focusing on the things you do between the time you get the application and the time you turn it in. Here are three such things you must avoid at all costs if you want to have a chance at the job you want:
Cover LetterA resume is about the facts. It’s the facts about you versus the facts about your competition. You may not win that battle. But the cover letter is about heart. The application lays out your qualifications. But the cover letter is about why you should be the one to be hired.
You can easily lose the game at this point. If you are not certain about what to put in a cover letter, you can start with this cover letter guide as a template. If that is still not sufficient to get you started, you can purchase a template that you can easily follow.
If your qualifications are at all sketchy, you still have a chance to win. The cover letter is that chance. If you blow it there, the rest doesn’t matter.
SpellingIf you can’t spell and have poor grammar, you will not get the job provided someone else with better spelling is applying for the same job. The world is full of people with poor spelling and grammar skills applying for jobs. Your application will stand out from the crowd just by being written, spelled, and punctuated correctly.
Beyond proofreading it yourself, have another set of eyes look it over before you turn it in. Here’s a power tip: Always grab two applications. Use the second one to implement necessary corrections.
PenmanshipIt doesn’t matter how good your application is if they can’t read what it says. But the importance of penmanship runs deeper than that. There is a chance that the job for which you are applying has some handwriting requirements.
A sloppily scribbled application may also indicate that you do not have the education you need for the job. It doesn’t matter if it’s fair. It is just a natural presumption. It also more properly suggests that you didn’t care enough about what you were doing to slow down and take the time to do it right. If you couldn’t be bothered to make out the application neatly, there is probably much about the job you wouldn’t be bothered to do right.
If you know your handwriting is atrocious, get a friend to fill out the application for you. It is easier to find a person to fill out your application for you than it is to find an employer who does not mind reviewing an application she can’t read.
The pen is mightier than the sword. So wield it with care and precision. Draft a winning cover letter. Eliminate spelling and punctuation errors. And use penmanship as if your job depended on it, because it does.