When you begin applying for finance jobs, you might fast forward to prepping for a discussion with a hiring manager. But the truth is, if you falter on basic steps of the application process, your resume may not make it past the recruiter’s inbox.
The job market—and the finance industry is particular—is a competitive place. While interviews are used to weed out qualified applicants, the application process initially narrows down the candidacy pool dramatically. Therefore, it’s important to avoid the most common mistakes to prevent your application from ever being considered. Listed below are several mistakes that may jeopardize your candidacy for a position.
1. Failing to follow the application process
You might have your MBA and several years of experience, but if you fail to follow the application process outlined by an employer, hiring managers may never see your resume. It helps to remember that hundreds of people may be applying for jobs, and one of the first things an employer will do is check to make sure all the requirements have been met. This means that if they ask you to submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample and references, and you balk at sending in a writing sample, your application may be immediately disqualified.
2. Leaving out key information
It can be frustrating when, in addition to submitting your resume, you are required to fill out a manual application that asks for all the information included in your attached resume. Often, you may be tempted to fly through this process and leave out data that isn’t pertinent or may be time-consuming to complete (such as your lengthy job history.) However, leaving the information out suggests to employers that you are not excited enough about the position to work for an interview.
3. Committing spelling and grammatical errors
Third-grade spelling stands out to recruiters quickly, meaning that your application may go from their hands directly into the trash bin. It may not be fair to be judged on a single mistake, but when there are piles of applications to sort through, employers want to choose someone who practices attention to detail and precision. The way in which you present yourself on paper is directly synonymous with how you may present yourself to the company and clients. No one wants to hire someone who makes preventable mistakes.
4. Applying for jobs for which you don’t qualify
You may have been given a great deal of responsibilities out of your pay grade in your last job, but it’s still important to stick to applying for jobs for which you qualify. When a company asks for 5 to 10 years of experience, and you only have three, it may be more challenging for employers to take your application seriously. This is particularly true if there are several qualified job candidates that have the experience level that you lack. Instead, read each application carefully to ensure you meet the basic qualifications before submitting your resume.
5. Missing application deadlines
If you’re swamped with other activities, you may think it’s okay to submit that job application a day or two late. Think again. Employers impose deadlines for a reason, and missing them suggests that you not only think you’re above the rules, but that you can follow simple instructions. If employers cannot trust you to abide by their deadlines, they may think that you won’t be willing to follow important work deadlines should you be hired.