A young woman holds her resume during a job interview

5 Common Job Application Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job

Filling out a job application is the first and most crucial step in every job search. A job application is the first impression you make on a potential employer – make sure you get noticed for the right reasons, and steer clear from these common job application mistakes.

Typos and Grammatical Errors

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than finding a typo in a job application. This shows the employer that you either rushed through the application or you just didn’t care enough to take the time to look your application over before handing it in. To avoid this mistake, always give your application to someone you trust to review it and fix mistakes before handing it in.

Leaving Fields Blank

Once again, this sends a serious message to employers. If you leave fields blank, the employer will assume you either rushed through the application and didn’t notice the questions on the back, or you just didn’t care enough to spend time formulating actual responses. Always make sure you fill out everything on an application, even if it takes a little extra time; it will always be worth it.

Not Following Instructions

No one wants an employee who doesn’t listen or follow instructions. So if an employer receives an application from someone who obviously didn’t pay close attention to instructions, it’s a major red flag. Every application is different, so always take the time to read – twice if you need to – and give your application a once-over before you hand it in.


Job applications are filled with questions asking whether applicants are willing to work overtime, weekends, and holidays. While it may be tempting to stretch the truth just to get the job, you should never be dishonest with a potential employer. Yes, admitting that you absolutely cannot work weekends may cost you the job, but it’s a lot better than getting the job and having to admit to your boss that you were dishonest (which could also cost you your job).

Illegible Handwriting

If the employer can’t read what you wrote, you might as well never turn in a job application in the first place. When filling out your application, make sure you write in print (as opposed to cursive) and let someone else look over it before you hand it in. The cleaner your application looks, the better your chances of getting the job.

Last Updated: June 09, 2015