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4 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Your Dream Healthcare Job

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There it is. Your dream healthcare job is open right before your eyes. All you have to do to is quickly complete the online application and cross your fingers for a call-back. Sounds simple, right?
Wrong. Be sure not to submit your cover letter and resume within minutes or even an hour of a position opening. Doing so can mean one of two things: 

  • You knew the position would be opening and you were ready for it
  • You didn’t spend much time preparing your documents before submitting them

If you knew the position was going to open, that’s good – you’re ahead of the game. If you rushed to apply and didn’t prepare your resume and cover letter to showcase your best attributes, then your application likely reflects that you’re a mediocre candidate.


Your application materials are the very first impression you make on recruiters and hiring managers. They can tell whether you’ve put hours or mere minutes into your application. Here are four mistakes that job seekers who rush their application make, according to The Muse:


1. You fail to seek out the right contact.
If your cover letter is addressed to “Whom It May Concern,” that is a red flag. It shows that you do not care about details and thoroughness, didn’t read the entire job posting or sent a generic cover letter that was also sent to multiple other employers. Addressing a cover letter to “Whom It May Concern” demonstrates little time, effort and interest.
On the contrary, addressing your cover letter to a specific person signals that you have done your research and are excited about the opportunity. If the hiring manager’s name and email address aren’t included in the job posting, you’re going to have to do some research on the organization’s website, LinkedIn and even Google to determine the appropriate recipient. Going the extra mile can be the difference between getting an invitation to interview or not.


2. You overlook typos and minor errors.
Proofread, proofread, proofread! There’s nothing that says “rushed job applicant” like spelling a common word wrong or completely failing to add the appropriate punctuation.
You can edit and revise your resume and cover letter dozens of times, but that doesn’t equate to error-free documents. It’s important to get another set of eyes on your application materials. Since you’re so engrossed in them, it’s easy to overlook simple things like a misspelled word or absence of correct punctuation. The bottom line: ask a friend or mentor to proof your resume and cover letter.


3. You don’t customize your resume to fit the position.
You have limited space to showcase your skills on your resume – but that doesn’t mean that you have to omit qualifications that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. The key is to update your resume to fit the job description. Don’t simply reuse the same resume bullet points for each position you apply to, especially if they aren’t applicable to the position.
Although it takes time and effort to rearrange your resume content and revise the wording of each section, the payoff can be huge. When your experience and accomplishments clearly align with the job description, the hiring manager will see that you are a solid fit—and will be much more likely to call you for an interview.
Again, ask a friend or mentor to read your cover letter and resume alongside the job posting to double ensure alignment of your application with the job.


4. You don’t stand out against other candidates.
Are there additional documents you could submit besides your cover letter and resume? If so, consider submitting them with your application.
Depending on the position, samples, training verifications, or other relevant items that showcase your qualifications could put you a notch above the other job applicants. Before hitting that “submit application” button, consider what materials, if any, might help your case and prepare those documents to give yourself an edge over the other candidates.


This article originally appeared in The Muse by personal growth counselor Caris Thetford.
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