Applying for jobs is one of the most burdensome aspects of the job search process. Cover letters, resumes, applications – lots of paper work requiring sharp attention to detail. With so many things to pay attention to, people are bound to make mistakes. But as we all know, every little thing counts when it comes to getting through the screening process.

Don’t let these five common errors get in the way of your ability to get the interview:

Applying for the wrong job. When applying for a job, make sure you get the job title right. More often than I would like, I receive cover letters and e-mails referencing jobs that don’t exist at my company. Use the exact title that the company is advertising on all your application materials.

Getting the company name wrong. There’s two sides to this one. First – if you’re using a previously-used cover letter, make sure to change the name of the company everywhere it appears. Often, people will change the addressee information and forget that they included the company name in the body of the cover letter. Secondly – make sure you spell the name of the company correctly!

Forgetting to attach your resume. We’ve all made this mistake in e-mail. We’re used to typing out e-mail and hitting send. When applying for jobs via e-mail, try attaching your resume first to ensure you don’t forget.

Applying for the same job more than once. You do this for one or two reasons – you forgot you applied for the job already or you’re being a pest. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for your application.

Not including your contact information. Seems like a no brainer – right? Well if you do this, the existence of your brain could be called in to doubt. Believe me folks – this stuff happens!

Attention to detail might not be your strength, but when it comes to looking for a job, you need to make sure that you’re not missing a beat. Don’t get ruled out because of a stupid mistake. Double-check everything before you hit “send”.


Mike Spinale is a corporate Human Resources leader at a healthcare information technology company located outside of Boston, Massachusetts and is an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He has over eight years of experience in HR and management including career counseling, recruitment, staffing, employment branding, and talent management. Mike has dedicated his HR career to modern views on the field – HR is not about the personnel files – it’s about bringing on the best talent, ensuring they’re in the right seat, and keeping them motivated and growing in their careers. In addition, Mike is the author of the CareerSpin blog where he offers advice and opinion on job search, personal & employment branding, recruiting, and HR. Mike is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College. He is also a board member of the Metro-North Regional Employment Board, a board which sets workforce development policy for Boston’s Metro-North region, and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Northeast Human Resources Association.