Do’s and Don’t’s of the Job Application

It is no secret that I am/have been a manager for the last nineteen years.  That’s nineteen years of employees, applications, a shit ton of interviews, kids.

Let’s talk today about the do’s and don’t’s of job applications.

Let’s go in bullet format here.  Here are the “Do’s…”

  • Do attach a resume.  Even if there is hardly anything on it.  It looks like you are trying.
  • Do bring such resume that you have created, with you to the interview.  Even if it’s only a part-time position.  It looks good.
  • Do use spell check.  On everything.
  • Do explain gaps in your employment.
  • Do make sure you have contact numbers for previous employers.
  • Do have someone proof read your application before you hit submit.

The “Don’t’s”

  • Don’t misspell every other word.
  • Don’t forget to capitalize your name.
  • Don’t forget that how you type up your online application, is exactly how the hiring manager is going to read it.
  • Don’t forget to make your Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace private prior to job hunting.  Your future manager doesn’t need to know who you hooked up at with the club the night before.
  • Don’t make a scene in another location of the business that you are applying at days before hand, word gets around.
  • Don’t show up to the interview 27 minutes early.
  • Don’t get offended that the interviewer isn’t ready for you when you show up 27 minutes early.
  • Don’t forget to dress nicely, and in the same manner in which the position you are applying would dress.
  • Don’t forget to send a thank you note, or email to the interviewer.  This makes a very good impression.

Sometimes I cannot believe the things that I see on applications.  It’s okay to put an answer to a question as, “Will discuss at interview.”  If you were terminated from a previous position for example.  Sometimes just saying why you were fired, without any explanation can be something that automatically qualifies your application for the circular file.  If you have an explanation for why you were fired for attendance, not following procedures, etc. it may be able to be accepted as a reasonable answer.  If you just put that as a reason for leaving on the other hand, looks like you really did all of those things.

The misspelling and grammar mistakes are just insane.  I know that there are people who suck at spelling.  I know that I sometimes even will make a mistake in spelling or grammar.  I am the spelling and grammar police.  If you can’t spell a work that was in your title for your previous employer, you have issues, or you are lazy, or you need to go back to fourth grade English.  Then again, you are doing this application on a computer.  It has spell check.  If you misspell the same word 3 different ways of misspelling, that is a huge problem for me.  Waiter, waitress,cashier and sales associate are all pretty easy words, try not to fuck them up.

If you have major gaps in your employment, that is a red flag.  Don’t leave places out that you were fired from if it is going to make you look like you had a three-year gap in employment.  If you have worked somewhere only two months or so, maybe it would be okay to leave that job out, especially if you have 2 months here, 2 months there, and are unemployed for six months.

Then again, maybe there is a reason that you don’t have a job, or have only worked somewhere for that long.

I think there are some real possibilities as to why some of these people are unemployed.

Rant over.

Feel free to add anything I have forgotten.


One Comment on “Do’s and Don’t’s of the Job Application”

  1. Jen says:

    Loved this post. Here’s a few: Do be truthful. As in, don’t freakin’ put that you have experience with something that I might actually ask you about and know you are lying in about a half a nano-second. If you lie right out of the gate, I’m not thinking that’s a good foundation to start on. Do take the application process seriously. Don’t show up for an interview looking like you haven’t gone to bed yet from the previous nights outing. That makes for a funny Sex in the City scene, but doesn’t make for offers of employment.

I like thoughtful comments!

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