Common Job Application Mistakes To Avoid

At Blackwattle Careers our experienced Consultants have banded together to share with you some of the common job application mistakes we see far too often. These are mistakes we say you must avoid if you really are serious about landing that dream job.

Mistake 1: Not complying with the job application process:

The precise job application process will vary from employer to employer who all have slight variations as to how they go about engaging candidates to fill their employment vacancies.

The first test for every candidate is to actually comply with that outlined process. This means reading the job advertisement and any supplementary materials very carefully and complying with it.

It means that if you are asked to provide a resume and cover letter you provide both.

It means if you are asked to address a selection criteria in your cover letter you do that.

This all seems very basic, but it is astounding how often we unfortunately see candidates fail at this first step.

Mistake 2: Fundamental information errors:

Again unfortunately, we see this one all the time. The good news though is it is easy to prevent with a bit of time and care. What exactly are we talking about? Here are a few examples:

  • Addressing your application to the wrong person e.g. “Dear Alan” when the advertisement clearly lists “Michael” as the contact person for the position.
  • Similar to this one is muddling up the contacts’ position title. Get this one wrong and you may even offend the recruiter – there is a big perception difference between a recruitment coordinator and a recruitment manager!
  • Referring to the wrong position in your application. Can’t believe it? It happens. Often this is a sure sign that a candidate is job shopping and sending out applications to multiple employers – so many they can’t even keep up with the correct position title.
  • Referring to the wrong organisation.
  • Submitting an application for a previous role that you have applied for.

All of these errors generally show a complete lack of attention to detail and often confirm that rather than applying for a specific position or organisation, the application is just one of a number that have been made by the candidate. This may not be correct, but perception is a key ingredient in determining whether your application will actually be read.

Mistake 3: Your resume is too long or too short

This is a more complex issue. Presenting your resume in an appropriate length and format is vital. There is no formula as to how many pages your resume should be, this is all dependent upon the stage of your career, experience and the actual job application process. When preparing your resume be mindful that the recruiter will likely be bombarded with applications and time is critical, therefore you need to ensure that your resume is specific, succinct and gets your key selling points across as efficiently as possible.

Keep in mind, if you go too far the other way and put forward a resume that is very brief, you may leave the reviewer with a complete lack of insight as to what you can bring to the role.

Getting this balance right is critical.

Mistake 4: Spelling and grammatical errors:

This is a very common mistake and certainly something in current times that can easily be prevented through spell checking your application. Requiring more thought though, is local variations on words and spelling e.g. organisation / organization, recognise / recognize.

Mistake 5: Non professional email addresses:

Having a professional email address to correspond with recruiters and companies on is also very important in terms of personal branding and positioning. Keep surferguy1909@ or sweetheart05@ for your social life and use a more professional email address for your employment applications.