To err is human. We all do it from time-to-time. Unfortunately, when mistakes are made in the job search process, it’s not just a momentary embarrassment, it may cost you the job and future employment. 

As career and employment professionals, we know that mistakes happen, and we are here to point out some of the more flagrant ones so you can avoid them yourselves. We will focus our most common mistakes on the résumé writing process and the interview process. Although there are plenty of other areas that could cause missteps in the job search arena, these two seem to be the main areas of concern. 

resume examples

Mistakes on the Résumé

Remember that the résumé you send in to a potential employer is the first impression you are making on the hiring manager. Résumés that are excessively long, include extraneous information like hobbies, and use too many buzzwords that don’t make sense, can be an immediate turn off for the people tasked with looking through the résumés. 

Keep it to the point and as brief as possible. Avoid including things like hobbies or quirky personality items unless it is related to the job. Include buzzwords only if they make sense and relate to the position or qualifications that the company is looking for. 

Most especially concerning to potential employers are blatant typos that signal that your résumé was not edited or proofread. A CareerBuilder study showed that 58% of résumés have typos or spelling/grammatical errors. This is unfortunate because it sends the wrong signal to an employer before you have even gotten the chance to meet them. 

A young man wearing a suit at a table and looking at an open folder.

Mistakes During An Interview

The interview process, whether it is virtual or in person, is a time for you to shine! Avoid looking too eager by showing up excessively early or uninterested by showing up late. Either of these scenarios are a huge negative on your part. 

Although we all use hyperbole at some point in our lives, exaggerating or outright lying about your skills or experiences is a huge mistake during an interview. Your skills and experiences will quickly become apparent if you do land the job. It could also be a topic of conversation as your potential employer checks your references. Keep your conversations during the interview focused and in line with what you honestly have done or experienced in the past position. 

In addition to being brutally honest about your skills and experiences, it is a good idea to keep the rest of your interview positive and upbeat. This means avoiding conversations where you bad mouth your past employers. Even if you are asked about why you left or were laid off, try to keep it positive. 

Do you need help avoiding costly mistakes during the job search process? Contact the North Shore Career Center and MassHire North Shore or take a look at the resources they list online.