Application Mistakes – The best ways to take yourself out of the running
Sam Wilson, April 13, 2015
So you’ve found a job you want to apply for, you match the criteria and think that you’d be a good fit for the organisation. The recruiting manager wants nothing more than to give you the job, they are dying to read your application and find out exactly why you are the exact person they have been looking for. All that’s left for you to do is not give them a reason to throw your application away.
In this article I will take you through some common pitfalls that are guaranteed to take you straight out of the running for that job you want.
Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes
There is nothing more frustrating for the person reading your application than simple spelling and grammar mistakes. They demonstrate a complete lack of care and a disregard for detail, neither of which are attractive characteristics.
Taking the time to read through your application a few times can make all the difference when it comes to the crunch. Read it out loud to yourself to make sure that sentences flow properly and get a friend or family member to read through it too.
It is also worth checking simple things such as correct capitilisation, this includes your name and postcode. It may seem like a small thing but it will be judged if done incorrectly.
Not tailoring your application to the job
All the information provided in the job advert and job description is there to give you the opportunity to show why you are the perfect fit for that particular position. It is therefore a crying shame for the person reading your application to see that you have completely disregarded that information and submitted a generic application that you obviously use for every vacancy.
You may well be applying for numerous vacancies at any one time but it is still essential to tailor your application to each vacancy. Failing to address key points in an advert or job description is a shortcut to the ‘unsuccessful’ pile where I’m assuming you’d rather not be.
Most applications will have some form of instruction or direction, wherever this is the case follow them carefully.
Directions in an application have not been put there for the hell of it or just for the less creative applicants, they are there because there are very specific things that the employer wants to know or see. Read every question very carefully and make sure that your application fits all aspects of it.
Using your old, comical email address
We all have an old email address that we had at school that we think is really funny, mine was ‘punching_a_baboon@...’. I have never included this on a CV or application form, why? Because I don’t feel that it particularly reflects how I would like to be viewed in a professional arena.
Don’t let a personal joke have a negative impact on your professional opportunities, you may feel that it displays a bit of your personality but it’s never worth the risk.
Play it safe, get an email that is firstname.lastname@example.org if possible, it may be dull but at least it has no chance of damaging your prospects.
I have yet to meet anyone who got their job because the employer thought their email address was funny, I have seen plenty of applications thrown out because they thought the address was idiotic.
These are just a few of the basics, follow them and you will place yourself in a position where you will be properly judged on your skills, experience and credentials, not because you misspelled the company name.