Avoid These Common Mistakes When Applying For a Job


Utah’s unemployment rate is at three percent, so now is a good time to be looking for a new job. Even though employers may be fighting for qualified candidates, there are still mistakes you could make to knock yourself out of the running.


Jonathan Matthews, a Work Success Coach, recently sat down with Fox 13’s The Place to talk about the common mistakes that candidates are making and how to correct them.


1. Don’t ignore instructions on the application. Ignoring the instructions makes a candidate seem careless, and employers will move on to a candidate that followed the instructions on the application. Include everything they ask for, and make sure everything looks neat and tidy.


2. Don’t use a generic resume. Employers often scan resumes and applications quickly, so make sure the experience and skills they are looking for stand out in a tailored resume. Use specific experience that is relevant to the position.


3.  Make sure to include references. Having three or four professional references will increase an applicant’s credibility. Contact the reference first to get the most up to date contact information for them. You can also suggest points they should discuss with the employer.


4. Don’t forget about social media image. Employers often check candidates out on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure the content and photos posted demonstrate a professional attitude. If there is something that an employer wouldn’t want to see on a candidate’s profile, then remove it. LinkedIn is a must, so set one up before applying for any positions.


5. Make sure to answer interview questions the right way. Use the Situation, Action, Result format to show off skills to employers. When an employer asks a question, give them an example of a similar situation, the action that was taken to improve or resolve it and what the end result was.


Workforce Services offers free resume, interview and job search workshops to help prepare individuals to find a rewarding career. Find a local office and workshop schedules at jobs.utah.gov.