Just as the old saying goes, first impressions last. Your job application will be the first impression you make on an employer, so it’s important to create a good one. The person hiring you is receiving dozens, or even hundreds, of applications, so if your application doesn’t look good, they’ll have no reason to give you another chance. Watch out for these common mistakes in your job applications.
Not following instructions
Always follow application instructions to the letter. If the job post asks for a cover letter, include a cover letter. If it asks for three references, include three references. Imagine how annoying it must be when you’ve asked for applications to be sent to one email address and they get sent to another. Would you invite someone who didn’t follow your instructions to an interview? No, you’d probably choose someone who did.
There are a lot of people out there in your position who are applying for the same jobs. This is why success is sometimes a matter of “first in best dressed”. Don’t wait until the application deadline, get your application in the first chance you get. Another reason not to procrastinate is that if you need to apply via an ATS or company website, you never know when the servers could go down.
Applying for the wrong job
Applying for jobs is labour intensive enough as it is, no need to double your workload by applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for. If you lack the requisite skills and experience, then it probably isn’t the job for you. Of course, there is some leeway here but the point is to be realistic. Don’t apply for jobs that you’re significantly under or over qualified for –you probably won’t get a response.
You don’t need to be a linguist in order to make a great application in construction and engineering. While a rushed or obviously unpolished application won’t get a second look, a few spelling and grammar errors won’t hurt too much as long as you’ve done your best. The important thing is to make sure you’ve spelt the company and contact’s names correctly. Double, triple and quadruple check!
The hiring manager isn’t going to sit around reading your reasons for being out of work for a year or why you need three extra weeks off over Christmas. Your application is not the time to bring these things up. Instead, take the opportunity to address why you’re great for the role and outline what achievements you’ve had to back this up. You’ll need to account for gaps in employment and other quirks eventually, but be prepared for them during your interview stage.
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