Avoid these application mistakes

Arran Williams, March 27, 2017

Avoid these application mistakes

Found a job you’d like to apply for? Want to make your application the best it can be?

Before you rush into applying, take a look at seven common job application mistakes.

Don’t let the race to your dream job suffer from a fall at the first hurdle, avoid these mistakes and you’ll get off to a flying start.

Mistake no. 1: Poor grammar

Messing up your spelling and grammar is not a good look, and not very appealing to a prospective employer.

English is a bizarre, devious language in which ‘they’re’, ‘there’ and ‘their’ all mean different things but sound exactly the same. An apostrophe in the wrong place can radically change what you’re trying to say, despite being totally invisible in spoken language.

The solution to this is to check, check and double-check what you’ve written before you send it off. Spellchecker programs are unlikely to catch all mistakes, so there really is no substitute for re-reading it. If you’re not sure about a spelling or a grammatical point, use the wealth of excellent online dictionaries, thesauruses and grammar resources that can be googled in a matter of seconds.

It’s also a great idea to get one of your friends or family to read it over, a fresh set of eyes could well pick something up that you missed.

Mistake No. 2: Not following the instructions

Life is enough of a mystery at the best of times – don’t make it harder for yourself by ignoring the information you have.

Take time to carefully read what you need to provide. It might be tempting to launch head-long into writing your application, but you’re setting yourself up for disaster if you don’t have a clear idea of what is required of you first.

Showing that you’ve not read the instructions is going to lead to a terrible first impression and leave you with a mountain to climb to win them over.

Mistake 3: Talking about your old jobs, without highlighting what you achieved

Whoever is reading you application will want to know about your experience but not just where you’ve worked and when. Put an emphasis on things you actually achieved in the jobs, not just what your duties were.

It’s all very well that you had responsibilities in your previous job. What employers want to know is how these transferable skills can be used effectively in your new role. *add link to transferable skills blog

Mistake 4: Applying for a position that’s not right for you

You might really want a job in a particular industry or company. But if your interests and competencies don’t match the particular role you’ve applied to, this will show up in your application.

Take the time to pick a job that fits, then tailor your application to the specific role you’re applying for. ‘I am interested in working for company X’ or ‘I would like to work in industry Y’ is unlikely to impress anyone. They’re hiring for a specific role, so pitch for that specific role.

With this in mind, it goes without saying that you should under no circumstances…

….Mistake 5: Make an application with a generic CV you always use

You want the person reading your application to think you’re hard-working, attentive and interested in the job. Sending in a one-size-fits-all CV that isn’t molded for the role will make you look the opposite of all these things.
We live in a fantastic technological world in which you can keep your generic CV on file and tailor a specific one in a matter of minutes. So there’s no excuses!

Mistake 6: Turning in the application late

Trust us on this one. Here at Jobsgopublic, we regularly have to deal with people who haven’t made their application on time because some terrible catastrophe befell them at the last minute – their internet crashed, their computer spontaneously combusted, a herd of wild horses stormed through their office!

Sometimes, we’re able to bend the rules, but many times we’re not. This is often because the council we’re recruiting for aren’t able to bend the rules to accommodate people – if they did it for one, they’d have to do it for another.
Even if you’re lucky and the rules are bent to allow your late effort, this is hardly a glorious first impression to be making on your would-be employer.
So do yourself, and we poor recruitment staff, a favour, – leave yourself plenty of time to get your application in!

Mistake 7: Overdoing it

As ever, put yourself in the position of the person reading your application. If your application is filled with superfluous information that bags things down for no reason, this will be more of an irritation than an attraction.

Equally, any gimmicky, groveling or demanding stuff is very risky. You might think that waxing lyrical at length about how much you love the company or industry and simply have to work there will be endearing, but pitched wrong it can easily become annoying.
Likewise, leave off the temptation to jazz up your CV with whacky fonts or zany colour schemes. It’s a job application, not an invitation to a birthday party.

Different applications are necessary for different jobs, but the key is almost always to convey the key information as competently, clearly and effectively as possible. It rarely pays to go on too long.
And on that note…

Avoid these mistakes and you’re well on your way to making a great application. Good luck!