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Updated on January 26, 2014

I work in an international placement office and part of my job is to assess the employability of applicants. My assessment would depend largely on the resumes of applicant. I need to make initial evaluation and judgment and those who qualify get the chance to be forwarded to prospective Employers for final approval.

This task is quite tiring but very fulfilling. I love to hear approval from Employers. It’s a good feeling to know my assessment have matched those of Employers.

In this article, my intention is to share to you the common mistakes committed by applicants as far as my experiences are concerned. I believe I have to share these so that job-seekers out there will have a good idea on what to avoid in writing their resumes. Actually, those mistakes are sometimes giving me some hearty laugh, but I think I would be happier if I will not be seeing these mistakes in the next resumes that come my way. Now here are they:

1. Using ready made Bio-Data Form. Many applicants submit their Resume in form of Bio-data Form which they bought in the sidewalks and worse with all data written in a bad penmanship. I don't think an Employer will waste time with applicants who can’t even submit a presentable Resume. It's in the Resume where the Employer gets the first impression so it should not be this poor. A Resume must be computerized or typewritten so that it can be easily and clearly read by Employers.

2. Submitting ridiculous, weird, and outdated photos. I encountered one applicant who submitted a photo when he was still in high school and his hair in crew-cut. His information states he is 42 years old and his photo looks like his son. Another one submitted a photo with himself carrying his pet dog. Of course his dog is not applying for the job with him so what is the relevance of that dog in that photo? Another one is posing like he is a candidate for Mr. Universe, with all his big muscles on display. Some applicant submit photos which they cut out from a group picture with the hands or shoulders of people beside them still shown. One applicant even submitted his photo in side view. I have not encountered a photo in back view though (thank God!). But this one is intolerable to me… a photo of applicant puffing a cigarette. How dare him to be so proud of his being a smoking Joe?

Who will not laugh with such kind of silliness! Sometimes I'd end up laughing alone in my office or would go out at the reception area just to show my colleagues those absurdities. And we will all end up laughing together. It is some sort of a breather from the tight job we have been doing all day but somehow I could not understand why there are some applicants who could be that stupid ("excuse me for the word).

3. Using inappropriate font such as ScriptMT, Bold Blackadder ITC and other fancy font. I believe the applicants must stick to the standard fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. They are writing their Resumes and not love letters after all.

4. Typographical Errors. I can't tolerate applicants who do not even review their typing before printing and submitting to Employers. I find this an irresponsible act.

5. Applying for a position that he has no related educational or employment history. I find it such a waste of time and effort for the applicant to send resume and apply for a position he will not in any way qualify.

6. Attaching original important personal documents which are not even required. Imagine one applicant even sent his original authenticated birth certificate, and one sent his original authenticated marriage certificate. How could they ever risk losing those very important documents? It's good if all Employers are like me because I care to keep those important documents and return to them in good condition. There is no use attaching those documents as those do not really help them get hired. Most applicants also send original diploma, training certificates and employment certificates. Those are important documents applicants they should rather keep. I believe submitting good photocopies will suffice. The originals must only be presented during the interview but the original should always be kept by the applicants. This is the reason why most applicants end up losing all important documents.

7. Submitting complicated cover letter stating facts not even relevant to the job vacancy. A grammatically correct, brief, concise and relevant cover letter without any typographical errors is enough. Some applicants even state they won this beauty contest or this singing contest, or they attended a cooking or baking seminar when those have nothing to do with the job they are applying for.
8) Submitting falsified information if only to get hired. However, they are oftentimes caught due to inaccuracy and faulty details. Honesty is always the best policy in applying for a job and in all dealings.

I know there could be some more but those are based on my own experiences and I hope I have helped the jobseekers out there in my own little way.


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