Searching for a new job can be a nightmare. At best it’s an inconvenience and at the very worst it’s just more stress added to your already manic life.
Still, when it comes to applying for any job, there are some mistakes that will get you sent to the bottom of the list of potentially suitable candidates- and FAST.
From the minor, simple errors that should be easy to avoid, to the downright outrageous. If you’re on the hunt for your next job, then make sure you avoid these 10 mistakes if you want to have a chance of getting that all important interview.
1. You made (and left in) lots of spelling mistakes
Before you click send on anything you should always make sure you run a spell check first, and maybe run it again for good measure. There’s just no excuse for sending an application that’s laden with typos which could have easily been avoided if you just took the extra time. Even if your experience is super relevant, lots of spelling mistakes just screams lack attention to detail or “couldn’t be bothered”.
2. You gave too much information!
We get it, you’re really keen on the role and you want to show this. So you write a 10 page email explaining why you’re the right person for the job and attach a 6 page CV or resume to boot.
While being keen is a great thing and you should definitely highlight what makes you a great candidate in your cover letter, remember that recruiters and hiring managers may have hundreds of applications to review. So, keep it succinct and to the point. Not only does this make sure that it will actually be read and you’re efforts won’t go to waste, it shows that you’re someone who can communicate in an effective and efficient manner, and who doesn’t appreciate that?
3. Your experience has nothing to do with what’s required in the job
Ok, I have nothing against career changes, in fact we applaud it here at She Owns Success, and definitely encourage it if you know your current career path is not the right fit. But sending out applications to any old job with no evidence of how you might fit the bill is not the way to go.
This will make you look like you haven’t thought things through and will irritate the recruiter who will definitely be left questioning your motivations and thought process.
4. You Say You Want a Different Job – huh?
You’ve taken your time to put together a wonderful cover letter and your CV or resume is really looking the part.
But here’s the thing, you’ve stated in your application that you’re looking for a job in marketing, this is what you’re passionate about and the direction you want your career to take… So, why have you applied to a job in the human resources department?
Whatever you do, make sure everything you write is aligned to the job you’re actually applying for. Please don’t say you’re really keen to launch a career in FMCG when this is a Tech company. That is not a good look.
5. Your CV or resume formatting was a shocker!
It’s not fair, you’ve spent all that time making sure your CV looks the part. Great content, great formatting, what could go wrong?
Then you hit send and what turns up on the other side is a different story. It’s happened to all of us at some point so save yourself this nightmare of formatting gone wild and send a PDF, if you’ve made all that effort, you deserve to get a call!
6. You started acting crazy
You’ve applied for a role. If this was dating, then you’ve just met. Do you exchange numbers with the guy then call them every day, sometimes twice or even three times? Maybe, if you want to be blocked!
Whatever you feel like doing, however real the struggle feels, don’t start stalking the recruiter, sending hundreds of emails, and making phone calls to various different people around the company, all within the first week, and after they’ve talked you through the recruitment process and even explained that the hiring manager is currently on leave.
Following up is important and necessary. It shows you’re diligent, committed and organised with your job search, not to mention tenacious. These are all amazing qualities, and showing that you have them can only do your job search good.
But there’s definitely a balance to be kept. Follow up enough to show that you’re keen on the job and in the company, but not so much that they start to think hiring you will be a big mistake.
7. You applied for 20 jobs at the same time, at the same company and they were all completely different.
You’re totally flexible and your experience will fit in anywhere so you’ve applied for everything. From the marketing executive role (because you’ve got a really creative streak) to the Finance Director role (… and you’re good with numbers). .. ok…
Before you commit this cardinal sin and leave recruiters wondering, it might be a good idea to take stock. Just because every job sounds interesting, it doesn’t mean you should apply to every job. If you’re seriously unsure which job in the company is the best fit for you and you’re considering more than one, the best thing to do is to find the contact details of the recruiter and call them to discuss.
This will show that you’re serious about your job search, and considered in your approach. It also shows that you have initiative and every company wants people with that.
8. You didn’t follow the instructions
If a job advertisement includes specific instructions of how to apply or asks you to include specific information on your application, then this is what you need to do. It may feel like a pain, but what’s a little pain in the butt for your dream job. It’s called going the extra mile and if you can’t do that on your application, then you’re not likely to be the top choice for progression to the next stage.
9. You left out valuable information
You didn’t get called for an interview and you know you’re the ideal person for the job. On paper at least, so what’s going on? OK so you missed out a few things from your CV, but surely that can’t be it?
If you’ve got some fantastic experience or skill that is required in the job, make sure its front and centre so everyone can see it. Don’t leave it out. If you do have to cut down the length of your CV or resume, be strategic about what you keep and what you take out.
No one will know about the great things that aren’t on there, so if it’s a selling point make sure you include it.
10. You’ve let them down one too many times
So you’ve applied to the company before, in fact more than once. They invited you in for an interview but then you disappeared. Didn’t respond to calls or emails. And you did this on more than one occasion.
If this is you, don’t be surprised if you don’t get called, no matter how perfectly your experience matches the requirements of the job. Companies want to hire people they can trust and if you let them down on more than one occasion – worse still, if it was the same role and department – people will remember. So always leave on a good note.
Life happens, sometimes the only thing you can do is to let them know and withdraw from the process, but whatever you do, don’t just avoid calls and go M.I.A, because chances are, the next job they advertise might just be your dream job so you don’t want to burn your bridges.