It would seem obvious, but according to this article, some people do not follow the directions when they prepare and send in a job application. They don't send the requested materials; send in the wrong format; ignore the email where they should send to... or otherwise signal to prospective employers "you need to jump through my hoops if you want a chance to hire me."
If employers are looking for easy ways to cut a list of hundreds of applicants down to a smaller stack for careful review, one easy way is to eliminate those who don't do what is asked of them.
Another reason to read directions carefully: the advertisement or job opening notification is a goldmine of ways you can substantiate why you are an excellent candidate. Examine the details offered by the employer, and highlight areas of mutual interest!
Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat to @IdealistCareers.
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