People do a lot of illogical things when looking for a job. It’s like they lose all sense of reason, logic, and judgment. Sure, there’s a lot of emotion tied-up when you’re looking for your source of support and income, emotions run high and often common-sense does not prevail. Print this out as a roadmap of what not to do. In no particular order, because they’re all bad;

Sending out a boilerplate resume. Don’t do it. Your resume should reflect the job and the company. Even if you’re applying for the same-titled job at different companies, don’t do it. I repeat, don’t do it.

  • Not fully reading the job spec. Guess what, you missed that you have to travel to Guam every quarter, or you’ll need to work from the North Pole office for a week in December. Seriously, don’t try to save time, read the spec at least 3 times before you decide to apply for the job.
  • Deciding a cover letter isn’t necessary. Even if the hiring company says it is optional, write it. And make it good. Cover letters and interviews often decide which candidates are chosen as finalists. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager – do they learn more from just a resume, or a resume and cover letter?
  • Not Reading up on the company. What do you know about the company? Have you done a search on the company, or it’s products and services? What about their culture? Their finances? Their executives? Enough said.
  • Not Following Up. Not only should you follow-up with the person that interviewed you, but you should also follow-up with HR and/or the recruiter or third party that made the introduction. These folks talk to each other. They might even compare your notes to make them different. Be memorable and smart, write thank you notes and send them to yourself first to ensure they’re perfect.

Not being honest with yourself or the company. It’s always a good idea to stretch in life, buy a little more house than you can initially afford, go for the extra reps when working out, splurge on a new suit, you get the picture. But it’s never a good idea to be dishonest with yourself regarding your skill sets and capabilities. You don’t want to oversell and under deliver, it hurts you and your employer. Concentrate on your strengths, underscore your innate skills and aptitude for learning and taking on multiple responsibilities, and let who you are as a person carrying you.