How to Turn an Employer Off in Less than a Minute

It can take weeks or even months to get an employer’s attention but if you make a crucial error, the opportunity could be gone in less than sixty seconds.  Avoid the following mistakes or your application will quickly be relegated to the ‘rejected’ pile: 

Proofreading errors.  Spelling and grammatical errors are unacceptable on your resume and cover letter.  They tell the employer that you have poor communication skills, that your work is sloppy, and that you don’t care enough about the job to spend the time proofreading.  This is not the impression you want to make.

Being too aggressive.  While it’s a good idea to follow up on your application, you never want to make a pest of yourself.  Call the employer once and leave a message.  If you continuously contact them or are too pushy, the employer will probably determine that you aren’t worth the trouble.

Including irrelevant information on your resume.  Some job seekers make the mistake of putting everything that they’ve ever done on their resume.  Don’t fall into that trap.  Having unrelated skills or experience on your resume tells the employer that you are unfocused or that your true interests lie elsewhere.

Poor hygiene.  Nothing can turn off an employer as quickly as body odour.  Take a shower, wear deodorant, wash your hair, and brush your teeth.  Being clean and groomed is a basic requirement for any job.

Being unprofessional.  The employer may be willing to hire you even if you are missing some technical skills, but they will never select you if you behave unprofessionally.  Most employers view your level of professionalism as an indication of your attitude.  Remember that the employer is watching and evaluating everything that you say and do.

In this competitive labour market, employers need to screen candidates quickly.  As a result, they have little tolerance for the careless mistakes that job seekers often make.  However, if you are vigilant and avoid these errors you can ensure that your application will be accepted or rejected on the merit of your skills and experience.


(Written by: Karen Bivand)


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