With the job market at its most competitive, when you’re applying for that placement or grad job you need to make sure that your application is the one that grabs the employer’s attention and avoids the dreaded rejection pile. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but there are mistakes which are surprisingly very common and should be avoided at all costs – here is your guide to these, so by the next time you apply for a job you know exactly what not to do.
The first one can’t be reiterated enough. Spelling and grammar; unless you’re applying for a job that doesn’t involve writing you need to ensure that your cover letter and application are mistake free. The cover letter is very important as it is your first point of contact and whether you like it or not, the person reading it will form an opinion on you straight away. It has been said that on average, every four out of ten cover letters sent to employers contain some mistakes. Though employers understand that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, it is advisable to make sure that yours is one of the six that avoid the rejection file. One or two mistakes shouldn’t send your application straight to the bin, but any more are likely to do just that.
Another common mistake is leaving blank spots on your application. If there are questions – answer them. If the application asks about your experience – include it. The chances are that if an application form asks a question, the employer wants to know the answer. If you leave blank spots you’re doing yourself no favours. What if another candidate fills in the blank spot you missed? It can make you come across as lazy and shows that you may have a lack of attention to detail which will definitely not make you stand out and can be a quick and easy way for an employer to cut down the number of applications they are taking to interview.
One more common mistake people make is submitting a generic cover letter and not tailoring their CV to the position available. You need to make sure that the employer knows just how much you want the job you are applying for. On your CV, tailor your skills and make them relevant to the position you’re applying for. When you write about your experiences, tell the employer what you’ve learnt from them and how they make you perfect for the job. If you send a dull, boring CV the type that the employer will see time and time again, you’re letting yourself down and don’t give yourself much of a chance to get noticed.
Finally, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete your application and submit it by the due date. If you get your application in in good time it’s likely to make you look organised and more importantly, interested in and keen on getting the job on offer. If you submit it at five to midnight on the night before the deadline, it could do the opposite…
We hope you take these tips on board and remember them for your next application for that dream job! Good luck!