We’ve all been there. The process of looking and applying for potential roles is monotonous and seems never-ending. Did you know that there are common, easy mistakes to make in this process? By rectifying these simple mistakes, you can improve your chances of landing the best role suited to you.

Lack of Tailoring in your Application

Always tailor your application to the role you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a Software Engineer position, the recruiter will not be interested in the part-time newspaper round you had as a teenager. Mention relevant key words such as Java or Spring Boot, and provide details of your relevant software engineering experience.

If you fall short of the experience required, provide details of how you have used relevant skills in another role. This way, you may be discussing a less relevant role, but you are tailoring it to the position that you are applying for. Furthermore, not taking the time to tailor your application tells the recruiter that you are not taking the time to thoughtfully consider the position you are applying for.

Not Attaching Additional Information (when asked)

In job applications, you may be asked to provide additional information, the most common being a cover letter. Failing to attach additional information signals the lack of ability to follow instructions, which can be a red flag to recruiters. Most recruiters will use additional documents to support your application, and can even persuade them to pick you over another candidate. It’s the best time to stand out amongst other candidates and recruiters will use these additional documents to determine if you are the best applicant for the role.

Being Under/Over Qualified

It is important to only spend your time applying for roles that you would excel in. Being overqualified runs the risk of the employer taking you in and having to re-fill the position once you realise that your expertise can be used and valued elsewhere. Being underqualified for a position runs the risk of coming across as “desperate” for any role going, wasting an employer’s time reading through a CV that is not what they are looking for. Furthermore, you may not being taken seriously in future applications. Stick with roles that you are a potential candidate for, showcase your abilities and work hard to pursue any current out-of-depth careers.

Not focusing on the details

Similar to not attaching additional information, not focusing on the details when applying for a new role also signals the lack of ability to follow instructions. Not following instructions including sending before a deadline, writing in blue or black ink or writing in capitals can send red flags to recruiters. Focusing on details can eliminate candidates who do not read directions before undertaking a task and lack time-keeping skills. This can be telling for an employer as to what candidates are capable for the role, before they even speak to them. 

Applying for all available positions

Applying for all available positions at a company may come across as “keen”, but not to all employers. By doing so, you may come across as desperate for any role, and none in particular. This does not give you the opportunity to showcase how great you are for a specific role, meaning that your CV and Cover Letter may seem less credible. Instead, apply only for the roles that you believe you can excel in and explain this when applying. Apply for the roles you are best suited to with experience and showcase to the employer what you can bring to the table. Like the old tale says, “A Jack of all trades is a master of none”.

Applying for a new role can be tedious, never-ending and stressful. However, take your time and do not make the five common mistakes that can impact your application. Reputation can be hard to repair, so it is important that you showcase yourself in the best light possible in current and future applications. Good Luck!

Written By: Emma Mitchell

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