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10th Aug 2017

How to avoid these five common mistakes when applying for a job

Overselling yourself

We all know how it is, you’d like to say you’ve been a manager, but in reality, you helped train and orientate interns. Don’t underestimate the experience that it's given you, as it all adds to your application, but you need to make sure that your application is truthful and shows off your experience to the best of its ability. One of the best ways you can do this is to make a list of all your key experience and your knowledge. After you’ve done that, prioritise these and develop a structure to draw each of these skills together. It’s important to remember that you are selling yourself and to make the most of your skills.

Typos and grammatical errors

Are you a recent graduate with an excellent eye for detail? Well, that’s too bad because you’ve already lost out on the job by not proofreading your application. You might think that all you need is a quick spell check to ensure your application is flawless, but you’re mistaken, even though spell check is a fantastic tool it doesn't understand the full complexity of the English language and the different ways in which we write. One of the best ways to avoid any mistakes in your resume is to ask someone else to proof read your application, it’s a lot easier to spot any typos if it’s not you who has made them. If you’re not in the situation to have another person check your CV, you can try approaching it with fresh eyes. Finish your application, save it and then close your computer, take some time away from a screen and then proofread it with fresh eyes. If you’re still not 100% sure that you’ve caught every last typo, then you can use apps just as Hemmingway Editor which can help you to check your sentence structure and any grammatical issues within your application.

Rushing your cover letter

Your cover letter is one of the first things that an employer will see, so why would you let it be an afterthought? It may seem harsh to judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately, the world of recruitment is very fast moving and a cover letter is any easy way to sift through a lot of applications. Not only that, but a cover letter is a perfect way to highlight your experience and show your personality to an employer/recruiter. It gives you the opportunity to highlight some of your best skills and achievements. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is rushing your cover letter, or by not tailoring it to the individual jobs you are applying for which means you could be missing out on your dream role.

Think about the company, not just the job

One of the most frustrating things for recruiters is when they have a fantastically skilled applicant with all the right experience but they don’t know anything about the company they are applying for. It’s so easy to get hung up on all the requirements of a role and ensuring that you tailor your CV towards these, but don’t forget to think about the company you’ll be working for and what you’ll be able to bring to the role. One of the best ways to do this is to think about how your skills and experience would fit with upcoming projects or challenges that the firm may face. If you’re not sure about what projects are in their pipelines, or if it’s a public-sector job you can highlight a specific project that you have worked on and discuss how you’ve benefited it and if that impacted the outcome. 

Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get it

You thought you nailed the interview and then you get an email to say that you haven’t been successful on this occasion. It’s difficult to receive a rejection on your applications and sometimes even harder once you’ve been interviewed. The last mistake on our list is one of the biggest and most common, we’ve all felt the burn of rejection, but it’s important to stay positive. Even when things seem like they can’t get better, there are several positive outcomes which you can glean from a negative response. Firstly, you were a strong enough candidate to interview, it’s easy to overlook how many candidates will apply for a single role, sometimes this can be upward of 250. Secondly, look for the positives, you were able to meet new employers and thinking about the challenges of your previous roles. Lastly, you can always request feedback from an interview, this will provide you with some examples of where you may have gone wrong and often some ways to improve your interview technique.

Have you ever made one of these mistakes? Now you know how to avoid them, then head over to our Facebook page to see the best local jobs in Northern Ireland from across the private and public sectors.   

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