People often make the same mistakes when applying for roles and attending interviews. Here are the top 10 mistakes people make when job hunting.
- Having mistakes on your CV- this happens more than you would believe. Always re-read your CV before you send it off, or get someone else to read it. I’ve seen CVs with spelling and grammatical errors which say ‘excellent attention to detail,’ practice what you preach! For highly competitive roles, 1 spelling mistake equals one thing- the bin. So ensure it’s perfect before you click ‘Send’.
- Miss things off your CV – I don’t mean you need to have the fact you worked part time when you were 16 years old on there, but include all relevant roles as well as other interests. You are bound to be asked various ‘give me an example of….’ questions in your interview, if you’re likely to use examples from volunteer work or sports you participate in then make sure you do mention them in your CV. Otherwise it can look like you are just making them up!
- Not personalising your cover letter- I previously managed the undergraduate placement scheme at my old job and the amount of applications I received which had ‘I am interested in working at XXXX’, and the company name had not been updated from the previous cover letter, or they had even left spaces and not bothered to write the name in. In the cover letter you should mention why you fit the company and the role, which should be different for each application. It’s worth the effort!
- Not closing at the end of an interview, or not following up- My dad has always told me ‘ABC, Always Be Closing’. At the end of the interview make sure you ask what the next steps are, expected time frame or even ‘how did I do?’ And ensure you always follow up with an email. Short and sweet is better than nothing, a simple ‘thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you’ is all that is needed.
- Impoliteness- Everyone knows to be polite to the person interviewing you, that’s obvious. People often forget their manners when it comes to other office staff such as receptionists or cleaners, not only is this rude in general but can be detrimental to your chances in securing that role. In a previous role I worked on reception and interviewers would often ask me what I thought of the candidate.
- Not doing your homework- Research the company and who is interviewing you. I don’t mean cyber stalk your potential employer, but check out their LinkedIn page and profile. Make sure you know what they do and find out who their customers and competition are, this leads me on to the next common mistake.
- Not having any questions- While preparing for your interview there may have been info you couldn’t find online, such as top clients or major competition, ask about them in the interview. If you get really stuck for questions then ‘what is the business’ plan for the next 5 years?’ or ask about the corporate culture.
- Poor timekeeping- Don’t be late for your interview! Top tip- Find the interview location, then walk away and find somewhere to re-read your notes and have a drink. A last minute panic to find the office is never a good start!
- Not checking your online presence- LinkedIn is great and should be maximised. It should essentially have your CV on your profile and make sure it is consistent with your CV. Also check that your other social media profiles are either private or appropriate, you don’t want your potential employer finding a twitter account which discusses your work hangovers and pulling sickies.
- Have faith in yourself! – re-read your CV before an interview and remind yourself why you’re perfect for the role. Believe that you are good enough for the job!