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10 Ideas to Improve Your Job Application

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Lots of people view the end of the summer as a good time to start looking for new career opportunities. CVs are being updated or even written for the first time.  I’ve compiled a list of points to consider once you are ready to apply for that special job!

1. Apply for jobs you’re qualified and experienced for

Recently I received an application from someone who applied to be a Senior Fund Accountant. . . This applicant was a cake decorator – what could I say!?!

Even if you like the sound of the job and it’s exactly what you’d like to do, please read  and consider carefully the skills the employer is looking for – if your experience doesn’t meet at least some of the criteria then you’re wasting your time and you might be disappointed at not even getting an acknowledgement to your application. If you’re applying through a recruitment consultancy, it might be quicker to pick up the phone to clarify exactly what experience is required for the vacancy being advertised.


2. Too much personal information on your CV

Hobbies and interests are good and so is voluntary work since both can give an indication of the type of person you are outside work. Too much information however about what you do outside work can be irrelevant and could leave a  future employer wondering if you’d  have time to do the job.


3. Describing in detail jobs that you did years ago

If you have had a number of jobs since the start of your career, describing your first job in too much detail isn’t really relevant. Having comprehensive information about roles you’ve had which are not relevant to your current career is also just taking up space on your CV.


4. Spelling errors

Everywhere you look for CV or job application advice, the golden rule is to avoid spelling errors yet this still remains one of the top pitfalls and it will immediately put any prospective employer off.


5. Unprofessional or inappropriate email address

Another well documented golden rule. It costs nothing to set up a new email address Employers don’t find the email address you used when you were 16 very funny. I could give so many examples of bad email addresses and a lot of examples of candidates losing out on interview due to this – enough said.


6. Gaps in employment

If there are gaps in your employment record on your CV then these must be explained. You’re best to show which month and year you held employment, especially for your most recent jobs as too many unanswered questions on a CV often results in your application being put to one side with no prospect for an interview.


7. Your location

If you are applying for a job in another location, you must explain in your CV or cover letter that you are planning to relocate. Applications are often overlooked if there is not a clear explanation about why you are applying for a role some 500 miles away. It’s really sensible to explain why you’re applying and even providing a timeline of when you’re looking to relocate.


8. Using your current job description as your CV

It’s fairly obvious to a recruiter or hiring manager when this is done on a CV. You should ask yourself if this is really reflective of what your job entails on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Additionally, many job descriptions use technical jargon that is used within that particular company so it might not even make complete sense to an outside employer reviewing your CV.


9. Career objective

Don’t have a “career objective” on your CV if it doesn’t match with the job you’re applying for.


10. Cover letter

Don’t send the same cover letter for each job you apply for – it really is wasting everyone’s time. Tailor your letter for the vacancy – it’s not all about you here, it’s also about what you can bring to your new employer.


All the above points are fairly common sense but can be a good reminder and I hope they’re helpful.

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