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5 Common Job Application Mistakes To Avoid

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Career Advice ...

First impressions last forever, we all know that. And, they’re even more important when you’re completing a job application. After all, this is the first time you’ll communicate with your potential employer. It’s also the first opportunity for them to judge you on your suitability for their company.

Job hunting can be fiercely competitive, so the last thing you want to do is shoot yourself in the foot before you’ve even had the chance to interview for the position. Have a read of our guide on the five common job application mistakes to avoid.

1. Applying for the wrong role

As silly as it sounds, some job adverts can be deceiving. If you’re struggling to plan your job-hunting day and caught in a bit of a frenzy, it isn't uncommon to misread a job specification, or not even read it at all!

While you may think you’re applying for a new job at a leading PR firm by the way of the job title, you may be caught out and end up applying for a job in sales renewals. All because you failed to read the role description and responsibilities. It’s not only a waste of your time, it’s also a huge waste of an employer’s time. Be thorough and read through the entire job specification before applying.

2. Turning in your application late

If there’s one pet hate that all employers have, it’s being late. Whether arriving at your desk 30 minutes after you’re supposed to start or sending your application a day after the due date, the employer’s estimation of you will fall.

While some online submission points will automatically shut and not allow you to apply past the deadline, email submissions won’t. If the hiring manager has set a deadline, make sure you stick to it. Chances are, if you send an email with your CV and cover letter two days after the deadline, the hiring manager will delete it.

Treat submitting your application like a job interview. You wouldn’t turn up late for that, so don’t make the mistake of being late with your application!

3. Not updating your CV

This is a very common mistake that lots of people make when applying for a job. You may be fully qualified for a job in finance, have past experience, meet all the requirements and have glowing references. But if your CV is still tailored for that sales job you applied for last week, it may be put in the ‘no’ pile.

Tailoring and updating your CV for each job application not only shows initiative, it provides the hiring managers with relevant information. Regularly updating your CV is very important and can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to applying for a job.

Remember to chop and change your CV with each application. Each job comes with different requirements, responsibilities and desirable personal skills. Make sure that you match the skills and experience you have on your CV with the job specification to give you the best chance of standing out. 

4. Not attaching a cover letter

A very common question asked by jobseekers is ‘does my CV still need a cover letter?’ The answer: absolutely. A cover letter gives you the chance to showcase your skills and go into more elaborate detail about your relevant experience, skills and achievements.

Even if a cover letter isn’t a necessary requirement in a job application, it would be a mistake not to attach one. Ensure that it’s personalised and is specific to the role you’re applying to as this shows a real desire to be chosen for the job. This kind of determination and work ethic will be noticed by employers. 

5. Not giving your application 110%

Not devoting 100% of your focus on an application is a big mistake when it comes to applying for jobs. This can lead to other mistakes such as unanswered questions or poor punctuation and grammar, all of which will deter the hiring managers from shortlisting you.

Every application you fill out should be done with maximum effort and focus. There’s no point wasting your own or the hiring manager’s time by applying for a role you haven't really got any interest in filling.

Only apply for jobs you’re proficiently skilled at and would excel in and enjoy. And not just for roles you find when you’re bored and have nothing else to do.

Is your application mistake-free?

So remember, always give 110% on every job application, double and triple-check your entries for any mistakes, tailor your CV and cover letter for the role and make sure you apply before the deadline!

These mistakes can be easily missed, but if you avoid them, your application will stand out from the rest.