career

10 ways to lose a job before you get it

Break all the rules when applying
Break all the rules when applying © Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

"Follow instructions," says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of the online job search site FlexJobs. "I've hired for hundreds of positions and can usually eliminate about a third of applicants because they didn't follow the instructions in the job description." That includes not writing a personalized cover letter demonstrating the applicant's interest in the company and job.

Some applicants skip the cover letter or send a generic cover letter. "Not following instructions tells employers that you either can't or don't pay attention to details, were too rushed or disorganized when applying, or just didn't care enough to follow instructions," Fell says.

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