Are you applying for jobs right now? When you're unemployed, it can feel like you're constantly filling out job applications with no results. If you've been applying for jobs and not getting invited to interviews, there's a chance you might be making some common mistakes. If so, make sure you avoid these top 6 job application mistakes!
Making these mistakes could cost you an interview invitation, and we all know that's the first step in getting hired for your dream job. Read on to learn what these mistakes are and how to avoid them. Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to landing your dream job!
Here are the 6 biggest job application mistakes people make:
1. Typos and grammatical errors
This is an obvious one, but still worth mentioning. Typos and grammatical errors are one of the quickest ways to lose a hiring manager's interest. After all, if you can't be bothered to proofread your own materials, how can they trust you to be detail-oriented on the job? Be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter before hitting "submit"!
We've all been there - we're in a hurry to get our application submitted and we don't take the time to proofread. But trust me, taking that extra few minutes could mean the difference between getting invited to an interview or not.
If you want to avoid this mistake, or you're not confident in your grammar skills, ask a friend or family member to help you out. Or, better yet, hire a professional resume writer who can help you make sure your materials are error-free.
2. Providing misleading information
Another mistake people make on their job applications is providing inaccurate or misleading information. This can include things such as listing false or outdated details on your CV, exaggerating your experience or qualifications, or even lying about your availability.
Similarly, double-check your dates by ensuring your ending and beginning dates for each job are accurate. A typographical error on a year will confuse readers. It could look like you have an unexplained gap in employment or that you held two jobs at the same time when you really did not.
Be honest and as accurate as possible on your job application - after all, if you're caught in a lie, it could cost you the job offer. Inaccurate or misleading information is one of the quickest ways to lose an employer's interest. Make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date before submitting.
3. Applying for jobs that are not a good fit
One of the most common job application mistakes is applying for jobs that are not a good fit. You may be desperate to find a job, any job, but it is important to only apply for jobs that you are actually interested in doing and matches your goals and ambitions. Applying for too many different jobs and industries can also make you look unfocused and not serious about any particular opportunity.
It's important to create an inventory of what you want in a career, including pay, working hours, location, role and duties. Also, research the kinds of businesses that would be a good fit for you: is it a multinational firm, not-for-profit organisation, bank or financial institution? Or perhaps you feel more comfortable in a small startup creative environment. Taking the time from the beginning to figure out what you want in a job will save you loads of time in the job application process.
4. Applying for jobs that you are overqualified or underqualified for
Another typical job application mistake is applying for jobs that are too low or too high of a level. If you apply for a job that is too low, you may be seen as overqualified and not serious about the opportunity. If you apply for a job that is too high, you may be seen as unqualified and not worth considering.
The best way to avoid this mistake is to only apply for jobs that are at the right level for your experience, qualifications and ambition. This way, you will be more likely to be seen as a serious candidate who is worth interviewing.
Hiring managers prefer candidates that are a good fit for the position and will stay for a reasonable amount of time. There is a chance that someone who is overqualified may find the position boring and become disengaged and disinterested after a short period of time and leave.
Similarly, applying for a job you are obviously unqualified for wastes your time and the employer’s time. Applying for a position far beneath your credentials looks suspicious. Hiring managers wonder what went wrong in previous jobs that cause you to seek for a job that appears beneath your abilities.
5. Writing a generic cover letter
A generic cover letter is one that you can use for any job, without changing it to fit the specific position. This makes it obvious to hiring managers that you have not taken the time to customize your cover letter. When you apply for a job, you want to show the hiring manager that you are the right fit for the job. The best way to do this is to tailor your qualifications to the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in the job posting.
Whether accurate or inaccurate, failing to do this shows the hiring manager that you do not care enough about getting the job to spend the time to thoughtfully consider what the job entails and how to show that you can do it. If you don’t take the time to write a new cover letter or at least edit your default one, why should a hiring manager take the time to read what you send in for every other job?
To avoid this mistake, be sure to take the time to customize your cover letter for each job you apply for. This doesn’t mean that you have to write a new cover letter from scratch each time – you can just make some small changes so that it is tailored to the specific position. For example, you could mention why you are interested in working for that particular company.
6. Explain any gaps in employment
When you have a gap in employment, be sure to explain what happened. Gaps in employment are not always a bad thing, but they do raise a red flag for hiring managers. If left unexplained, hiring managers will assume the worst.
If you left on bad terms or for personal reasons, be transparent and upfront with your reason for leaving the company. It's important, to be honest here as well. It is better for a potential employer to find out this information from you upfront than later in a reference check with a previous supervisor.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes people make on their job applications. Avoiding these mistakes will help you put your best foot forward - and improve your chances of landing an interview. By taking these simple steps, you'll ensure that your application makes a great first impression - and gives you a better chance of landing an interview.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding job application mistakes? Share them in the comments below!
If you're ready to finally move forward in the next phase of your career, to make the kind of money you know you deserve, to be excited about your work, to have a career and not a job, then get your free Career Clarity Worksheet by clicking here.
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