Are You Making These Mistakes On Your Job Application?
How’s your job search progressing? Many candidates unthinkingly submit job applications for vacancies they’re interested in, often using a standard resume and cover letter. Weeks later they can’t figure out why their job interview failed to materialize.
Like many job seekers, chances are you’re making one (or more) of the following common job application errors:
You don’t tailor your application to the vacancy
Employers are only interested in your experience that is relevant to their job. If it’s not instantly obvious to a recruiter or hiring manager exactly why you would be a good fit for their vacancy, you won’t make the interview. Tailor every application you submit to the position you’re applying for. It may require you to edit and amend your resume each time but it will enhance your chances of securing an interview. Remove the information that isn’t relevant and emphasize the skills that make you the perfect fit.
You include your location
Hiring managers are often risk averse in selecting candidates for interview. Part of that risk means avoiding candidates who aren’t local. For many people, a lengthy daily commute that seemed manageable in the excitement of starting a new job becomes less tolerable over time. If your application falls into that category your resume won’t make it through the initial screening. Address details may be required as part of your application in some cases but if you’re applying for a job that requires relocation or a commute, include your e-mail and cellphone number only on your resume. If you’re an outstanding candidate for the job, your prospective employer may be happy to negotiate flexible or remote working into your final package.
It’s great that you achieved so many awards at high school but if you left over 10 years ago, why are they still displayed proudly on your resume and your LinkedIn profile? It suggests to recruiters and employers that you haven’t achieved anything notable since which will eliminate you from the hiring process. Focus on your achievements in your career and delete outdated information.
Space on your resume and covering letter is invaluable. Don’t waste it with standard, irrelevant phrases such as ‘references available upon request’ or ‘please see attached resume’. Every word counts. At this stage, employers are only interested if you possess the skills and experience they need. Use the space available to highlight the achievements and qualifications that make you an ideal candidate for this job, coupled with the benefits you will bring to the organization.
Ignoring the gaps
Your resume is a great fit for the vacancy but there’s a hitch. You have an unexplained employment gap in your career history. The problem is that this gap is unexplained which means the chances of your application finding its way to the ‘no’ pile just soared. Maybe you were unemployed for a while, or you or a family member got sick. Maybe you took a gap year. Whatever the reason you must address it on your resume. Explain the steps you took to familiarize yourself with trends in your sector and ensure your skills were kept up-to-date during your time out. Employers will appreciate your direct approach.