5 things you need to avoid in your job application

You have heard it all before: when you apply for a position you need to make sure your job application, cover letter and CV nail three key points – spelling + grammar + personalisation.

Naturally, you are one of the awesome people that get all those points right… but have you considered some of the other things that may be preventing you from landing an interview for your dream job?

Here are the top 5 mistakes people make without realising 

1 // Not giving the application form enough thought or effort

You spend so much time perfecting your CV and cover letter – but these days many companies will have a form that they require you to fill in as part of the application.

Don’t fill this in without any care or thought and assume it will go unnoticed.

This is the very first thing my Co-Founder and I will read when we are looking at job applications. If you have clearly not bothered to answer our questions with consideration – we will very likely reciprocate with not bothering to spend time on your CV or cover letter.

2 // Not addressing the glaring gaps

The role last role we advertised was for an Events Assistant. I would estimate that at least 20% of the applicants did not have clear event management experience or training.

That is not to say that they might not have made excellent candidates (if I read between the lines I can see that was the case with some applicants), however – that’s your job – not mine!

If there is a clear gap between what you have and why you are applying – address it up front and give the person reading some insight.

3 // Pretend you want something you really don’t

If you want a full-time role and you are applying for a part-time role – it will be evident. In your answers, in the interview – it will come out in the wash.

The same goes for companies you don’t want to work for, or roles you don’t really want to be applying for. And whilst you might want to “give it a go” sometimes it helps to remember the flip side and an employer’s perspective.

Hiring an employee takes an incredible amount of time and money. Not only is the recruitment process a mammoth effort, but training a new hire in the company takes significant commitment – and speaking from personal experience – it’s gut wrenching to lose someone just after you have gone through that process.

So if you don’t sound 100% convinced with my offering – I will sense it and this will fast track you to the “no” pile.

4 // Price yourself out of the market

Salary is one of those tricky things. Different employers have different attitudes on how salary should be handled – but from our perspective – we like to deal with this upfront.

So when we indicate a salary range and then ask you what your expectations are – first up you need to make sure that you are within the range.

Secondly – you need to make sure that your salary expectations are in line with the role you are going for. Although $30 an hour is easily achieved as a casual barista receiving penalty rates on a Sunday – this actually translates to $62,500 per annum and is well beyond many graduate salaries.

5// Think that you are smarter than the computers

So here’s the thing. For the last 18 months I have been using the same online system to collect applicants when we advertise a role.

One of their nifty features for me is that if you were to apply for an advertised role today – and you applied for a role 18 months ago – it will flag this up for me and let me link to your original application.

So if you applied 12 months ago with the same cover letter … it’s not going to look very impressive (and to clarify, more than one person has done this).