You spend half your time applying for jobs and can't seem to get a response, let alone land an interview. But, with an average of 106 applicants per entry-level job vacancy, you need to make your application count. At Trojan Recruitment Group, we spend a great deal of time reviewing job applications and are here to share the top five mistakes we see that can cost you an interview.
1. Your cover letter is missing in action
Think that adding a cover letter is a waste of time? Think again. Your cover letter is the best way to inject some personality into your application, demonstrate you understand the job requirements and directly share how your skills and qualities make you an ideal fit.
Tip – Summarise your professional self, skills, experience, why you are a great fit for the role and how you can benefit their organisation. If you aren't confident in writing a cover letter, research some examples, have someone help you and be sure to proofread it carefully. This is your first impression, so make it count!
2. Churn and burn
You create a generic application and smash it out to as many people as possible in the hopes you will snag an interview. While this approach may be tempting, it is unlikely you will stand out to any hiring manager. Putting in more effort to apply for fewer, more targeted opportunities will serve you far better.
Tip – Target your search on jobs most relevant to your skillset. Review the application carefully and tailor your answers to the skills and experience the company needs.
3. Selfies with the boys
Many hiring managers will do a little internet search before considering hiring you. If your social media feed shows you constantly knocking back bottles of booze, bagging your workplace or publicly sharing polarising social views, it may be costing you an interview.
Tip – Think about what a potential employer may think if they view your social media feed in its current state and give it a once over before you start applying for jobs.
4. Your application is war and peace
Given the sheer number of applications a hiring manager receives each day, they haven't got the time to study and analyse each application to find the gems of information that may be hidden within. Those who create an application that is concise, to the point and makes the hiring manager's job easiest are likely to be instantly moved to the top of the pile.
Tip - Keep your cover letter to one page and your resume to two pages where possible. Try to include fact-based information showing the history of your work experience and skills.
5. The presentation sucks
If your resume looks like a year six homework assignment, then you are likely to be overlooked for that dream role because presentation really matters when it comes to job applications. The way you present a job application can, rightly or wrongly, be considered a direct reflection of how you would present yourself. Further, readability is enhanced with clean fonts and layout, so think about how you present your resume when you apply.
Tip – Stick to clean fonts, tidy layouts and ask friends or family for feedback. Microsoft word offers resume templates; there are also resume writing services you can use online.
The application checklist
Tailor your application to the job
Write a strong cover letter of 1 – 2 pages maximum
Ensure you are clear about how your skills and experience can benefit the company
Use a professional design for your resume
Keep your application clear and concise
Ask a friend to proofread your application
Tidy your social media feed
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.