Job application etiquette

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Interviewers use a variety of techniques to screen applicants in or out of the hiring process. The application cues potential employers to invite the applicant to continue in the hiring process. Here are some common mistakes that "red flag" applications.

1) Neatness/Legibility -- Neatness and legibility play a role in forming the interviewer's initial impression. Did you care enough to pay attention to your writing style or is it sloppy and illegible? Have you stayed within the lines or compartments provided for your response? Be neat to be hired.

2) Vagueness -- Is the application vague about why you left a former employer? Vagueness leaves an interviewer wondering. Is there a story behind the departure? When the employer doubts your ability to be forthcoming, you'll be screened out. Be honest.

3) Missing Information -- Have you completed everything on the application? If not, this is a big red flag to interviewers. It may indicate that you are in too big of a hurry or can't follow directions well. Complete all information.

4) Employment Gaps --Employment gaps worry the interviewer. Make sure that you explain any periods of unemployment.

5) References -- Employers are wary of anyone who cannot provide verifiable references. Be prepared both personal and professional references as well as their contact information.

For more information, contact New Directions Career Center (NDCC), a non-profit United Way agency serving central Ohio at (614) 849-0028, extension 100. NDCC assists individuals regardless of their ability to pay.