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Top 5 Job Application Mistakes by College Students

No one was born with the knowledge and skills to be a successful job applicant. These things can only be obtained through experience. A little bit of advice goes a long way too! These are the top 5 mistakes which I’ve noticed in job applications from college students and recent grads.

1. Reply to a job ad with “Please let me know how I can apply for this job.” Well it’s a bit obvious, send your resume, cover letter and any supporting documents, if applicable. About 10% of job applicants actually send this weird reply!

2. Apply for a job posting which specifically mentions “experience required” by saying “I don’t have experience but I learn fast!” Many people learn fast, but if I want to hire someone with experience you are wasting both your and my time.  If you need help on writing a resume with very limited experience you can find tons of advice online at sites like ResumeIndex.com and CareerBuilder.com

3. Forget to attach your resume and other document even though you state “Please see the attached…” Again, over 10% of college student job applicants make this mistake. Create a checklist with everything you need to check before sending an email and go from there. Even better, if you are using Gmail, start using the experimental “Undo send!” button. Works like a charm!

4. Send an email with no text and a resume attached to it. I get over 300 applications and you can bet that if you don’t tell me who you are and why you are applying, I am not going to open anything you send me.

5. Last but not least, have you been forwarding the same email again and again to many companies? Do not forget to switch the company name because receiving an email which mentioned company ABC when I’m XYZ (their competitor) is not going to get your foot in the door!

Next time I will write about the most common mistakes which college students applying for jobs make in their cover letters!

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