On the theme of Halloween, the good folks over at OfficeTeam compiled a list of the spookiest mistakes that candidates commonly make that frighten off potential employers.

“Hiring mistakes are costly, so it doesn’t take much to spook employers in today’s job market,” explains Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Companies are cautious when making hiring decisions, even a minor resume misstep or questionable online comment can take an applicant out of the running.”

With that in mind, here are the five most common job search blunders to beware of.

    1. Having a scary attitude. While it is important to show confidence in your ability to do the job, coming across as having a huge ego can send employers running. Don’t tell the interviewer that you “the greatest writer who ever lived,” show them a portfolio of your work and highlight your real-world accomplishments.

    2. Spooky spelling mistakes. Ghastly grammar and terrifying typos will almost certainly scare off employers. They assume that if you’re careless even when you’re most trying to impress them in order to get hired, you’ll likely be even more terrible on the job. Make sure you proofread documents carefully before submitting them, and have someone else read them with fresh eyes too.

    3. A resume that’s an obvious clone. Employers can spot a generic resume right off, and they don’t like it. You need to impress them with an application that has been tailored specifically for the job at hand, one that highlights what you can do for them. Trying to use a one-size-fits all document is actually the biggest resume mistake. Here’s how to create a masterpiece.

    4. Skeletons in your online closet. Employers will look you up online. Make sure you know what your online presence reveals about you. With social media profiles, websites, blogs, photo sharing sites and more, hiring managers can form a first impression of you in just a few clicks. Make sure they’re not stumbling across any horror stories about you. Here’s what employers actually want to see.

    5. Frighteningly unrelated facts. While it may be true that you enjoy horses, gardening and Thai-fusion cooking, unless you’re applying for a job at a stable, a greenhouse or a restaurant, leave this information off your resume. Rather use the space to point out details that are relevant to the job.

The key to a successful job hunt is standing out from other applicants – in a good way. Highlight your past accomplishments to show what you can do for a potential employer. And don’t make any of the spooky mistakes that scare them off.

Happy Halloween!

Peter Harris

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