Before setting up my career coaching and resume writing business ( Pro Resume Write) I worked as a Senior Recruitment Consultant recruiting for Chevron in a variety of their business units across both the Gorgon & Wheatstone projects as well as their WA Oil Operations.

During that time I interviewed over 500 candidates as well as reviewed thousands of resumes. Below were some of the biggest mistakes I saw job candidates making:

  • Generic cover letters: Not tailored at all to the job advertisement, no prior thought put into them. One size does not fit all; if you are going to add a cover letter make sure it highlights your skills and experience to that particular job. If you don’t want to do that you are better not having one!
  • Multiple applications for any and every position: The spray and pray (as we Recruiters call it) approach makes your application look desperate and also that you have put no consideration into your applications and whether you are in fact relevant or qualified for that position.
  • Arriving 30 minutes early for an interview: Arriving too early for an interview is nearly as bad as arriving too late. The appropriate time is 5 minutes to max. 10 minutes prior to any interview, arriving earlier shows poor time management so if you do get there early take yourself for a coffee or a walk, prepare and practice further and then go back on time.
  • Arriving late for an interview and not acknowledging it: I have interviewed multiple people who showed up 5/10/20 minutes late to an interview and didn’t acknowledge it or said something like “traffic was awful”. There is rarely a good excuse to be late for an interview, if you are address it, apologise and reconfirm that this is very unlike you and normally you have strong time management skills.
  • Not providing specific answers: In an interview, the interviewers are looking for specific answers to tailored questions (the STAR technique). There were countless occasions that candidates could simply not provide examples of their work, what they do, how they do it and kept repeating “I do this every day” but when pushed could not demonstrated a specific situation in which they did.
  • Keeping sunglasses/hats on your head or not taking off your jacket: This sounds really obvious but the simple act of keeping on your sunglasses/hats on your head or keeping on your jacket shows that you are not relaxed and also infers that you are not taking the interview seriously. Remove them prior to the interview and definitely once you are in the interviewing room.
  • Desperation vs. eagerness: Ok it’s your dream job and you really want it but you need to know your own worth. There have been multiple times I have been in an interview where it has gotten uncomfortable or awkward in the room as the candidate has been pleading for the job, discussing personal/financial difficulties, begging for any opportunity that might fit their skills. I know this is a sensitive subject and especially when times are tough and markets are tight but you need to believe in yourself and believe in the worth you bring. Your confidence in your ability, skills and experience should shine and this is what will land you’re the role.

If you are interested in finding out more about my experiences and how I can assist you with your career and resume then please reach out to me today at [email protected].

Professional Resume Writer & International REC2REC Recruiter

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Originally published at on April 18, 2016.

Originally published at