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Common Job Application Traps

The first step to employment is one of the most difficult, just getting the job application in can be a daunting effort. There are some common mistakes people make when applying for a job which are easily avoided. Make sure you do not fall into the application trap:

1) Not proofreading the application

One of the easiest ways to see your application hit the bin is for it to be filled with grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. No one has ever advertised for a job where attention to details is not needed. If you cannot take the time and trouble to make yourself look your best the employer will know you will not take the time and trouble to make them or the company you are applying to look the best either. It is always advisable to have at least two other pairs of eyes proof read your application before sending it off to ensure no mistakes have been made.

2) Not reading the job description accurately and fully understanding where your skill set fits the desired traits in the job description

This is not an ideal wish list by the employer but a set of skills needed to get the job. You need to make sure you can address each skill listed or as many as possible with evidence that you have the skills required. Read the requirements, make a list and know you need to address each item as much as possible. Just because you do not have all the desired traits does not mean you won’t get the job but the more you can show proof of the better your chances.

3) Failing to clearly state success or limiting your job description to bullet points

Most people when highlighting previous experience fall prey to a litany of bullet points starting with ‘responsible for’. You do want to express your successes but do so with active words and not passive such as: Strong statement/bullet point - ‘increased production by 25% by implementing bonus scheme’ Weak statement/bullet point – ‘implemented bonus scheme which increased production by 25%’ Another way to look at it, what success happened and how? This is the way to make the greatest impact in your statements or bullet points

4) Using the same resume for every job you apply for

Yes it is so much easier to write one resume for everything, however you are applying for different jobs within different companies. You must be able to tweak your resume or completely re-write it to reflect the skills of the job you are applying for. Failure to tailor your resume to the job description is just that failure.

Best of luck on your job hunt and keep an eye out for our top job tips each week. We will soon be announcing a training session on ‘How to Read a Job Description’. If you would like information on this or to attend an online session please email: contact@doverdealcitizensadvice.org.uk.

Happy Job Hunting,

Dona McLachlan,

Employment Officer