Here at Vitalis Consulting, we’ve seen it all and heard it all. All the mistakes people make when searching for new job. Many job candidates unwittingly shoot themselves in the foot. Pay close attention and you can avoid these mistakes. These are red flags that have hiring managers skipping past your resume before you even make it in the door:

Red Flag #1: Email Addresses Gone Wrong

Sender: spicylady1@g*****.com

Your email address may reflect your personality, likes, or temperament, but a total stranger doesn’t understand that you are a proud ghost pepper society member and cultivator. Establish a more professional email that is more or less just your first and last name. Gmail is free and additional accounts are allowed.

Another note on the email address, some people like to include their year of birth because their whole name is no longer available. Don’t do it. It will make you look too young or age you in the eyes of the hiring manager. And especially don’t do it if you were born in 1969.

Red Flag #2: Forgetting to Proofread

I cannot emphasize how important it is to use proper language and syntax in your resume. Spellcheck is great, since it lets everything be spelled correctly, but “there, their, they’re”, “hear, here”, “to, too, two”, “scents, sense, cents, since”, and various other homophonic errors are prevalent and your resume is a three pointer from the outside. It was “grate.” When in doubt, have your grammar fanatic friend give your resume a once over. Even better, hire a professional proofreader or a resume company to make sure your resume is polished and error-free.

Red Flag #3: Overlooking Resume Formatting and Tailoring

Your resume needs a header block complete with your full contact information. Your subheader should include the job title for which you are applying and an introductory paragraph highlighting your pertinent experience for the position. There’s no reason to illuminate your collection of Disney and Star Wars toys or the high school clubs you participated in twenty years ago. Keep it concise, easy to scan and understand, and relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Additionally, when transmitting your resume via email, rename the file to include your name. “resume1.docx” works fine in your system, but “JohnSmith.pdf” works better for us. A small detail like this saves your hiring manager time and aggravation, and is appreciated more than you may realize.

Red Flag #4: “We’re sorry but the subscriber you are calling hasn’t set up their voicemail box.”

You need to be available. Answer your phone, or make sure your voicemail is set up and ready to record. If you miss a call from a hiring manager or recruiter, call them back promptly. Generally, you get two phone calls. If you don’t respond the second time, someone else definitely just got your job. Again, I’m using the word emphasize, but I cannot emphasize enough, you need to be available.

Red Flag #5: Not Bothering to Show Up

When you snag an interview, be there. Half of the job is showing up. If you can’t make it, be polite enough to call and ask to reschedule. When job candidates can’t even bother to call and let us know they will miss their interview, we assume they are unprofessional and will have attendance problems at their job as well. This red flag moves you to our “Do Not Call” list.

Avoid these major job candidate red flags and look at working with a staffing agency as a team effort to help you find the best possible job for your experience and preferences. Let’s keep moving forward and get you the career you deserve.