7 unemployable sins of job applications

We spoke to some top employers and asked for the low-down on what really grinds their gears on job applications from students.

Memorise the following gripes of graduate recruiters, and swear an oath never to commit such terrible crimes against job applications:

Never underestimate the power of spelling, punctuation and grammar

If you’re not confident in your writing skills get a pal to look over your CV and application before you send it, as this was one complaint that was given from almost every employer!

Tailor your CV and cover letter for every single job application

It’s tiresome, but worth the effort to land yourself a job.

And while we’re on the topic, if you are going to use the same cover letter for numerous applications, be sure that it addresses the right company, and not their direct competitors that you are also applying for, which happens more often than you’d think.

It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed

Similarly, it’s better to be too formal than too informal in your job application. Even if the company you’re applying for is very casual, you need to show you are taking the application seriously.

Read the job description carefully

…before you apply and make sure you match all of the specified criteria. There is not much good to come from applying for a job that you don’t have the qualifications for.

When applying online, write your application out in a word document first

Often online applications can time-out, losing all of your brilliantly written answers and meaning you have to start from scratch.

It’s a better idea to write a draft copy first and keep it as a back-up. Also you can look back at your application for reference when you get called in for an interview.

Elaborate on your answers

Employers often feel that applicants answers are too short and don’t go into enough detail for them to grasp what the candidate actually did.

Worked with a team on an impressive topic at Uni? Great! But be sure to include what your role in the team was and how it impacted the outcome of the task.

Apply as early as possible

Sometimes employers receive so many applications for a role they close the deadline early, and you don’t want to miss out by putting your application off.

Some have found fantastic applications after the positions have been filled, disappointing for all involved.

If you make yourself aware of all these trigger points for employers whilst you are writing your application you are sure to avoid making any errors which to you may seem insignificant but to an employer reading through their umpteenth cover letter, may be enough to push them over the edge.

Good luck in all your applications!