How To Get Your Job Application Right

Applying for work seems like a never ending battle. You have spent the whole morning searching for a job and have applied to everything you have seen. Unfortunately you don’t get a single response and are left frustrated and question if these jobs even exist. This happens to many job seekers on a daily basis and since I have been in a recruiting position I have noticed common mistakes job seekers make right from the start.

1.) Read the job description
A point so obvious but one so often ignored

When applying for work it’s so important to read what is expected of you! I have had applicants from receptionists wanting to work as a system administrator. 99% of the time CV’s like this are automatically discarded. This is more common than one might want to admit and job seekers find they apply for work where they don’t meet the experience needed or even the qualifications. I emailed a job seeker back who had applied to every position we had available. We had about 15 positions and he applied to every single one. We were looking for degree relevant engineer’s who had a minimum of 10 years experience. He was a self taught carpenter. His reply to my email was that he was so desperate for work that he applied to everything he could. Unfortunately the job seeker in question pretty much wasted his morning to only feel more frustrated and fed up. If he had bothered searching further and more sites he probably would have had a better success.

2.) Personalize your job application
Even go as far as personalizing your CV / Resume. If they mentioned a skill in the job description that you don’t have listed in your CV – how are they to know if you have it or not?

On top of bulk applying to jobs each application never had an introduction letter. He didn’t even bother selling himself in any of the applications he sent out. This is a very common mistake! Today people send CV’s from mobile cell phones and as a recruiter what we receive is an attachment with a “text-speak” phrase like “application for job” in the email subject line and no body of text what so ever. No mention of the reference number or additional information that was requested in the first place. Worse still most people don’t setup their phone email correctly. Sender addresses come from default og@cvcoach2016.co.uk (eg userxxxx@yahoo.com )
addresses which when replied to bounce as non-existent because the email is invalid.

3.) Watch out for social etiquette
Just because they are on Facebook it doesn’t give you cart blanch to pester for a job. Remember you are dealing with a human on the other side and you could be reported for spamming!

In today’s social networking world we find many recruiting companies, job boards and independent recruiters that have their own Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn groups. I have also noticed a new trend of job seekers emerge where they comment each social share. This really amazing me! For example a job is shared onto all the networking sites and job seekers on LinkedIn will comment the job by leaving their email address. Not only have they completely ignored the original post but they have now also made their email address very public. A passerby scammer now knows a lot about you. Firstly he knows you are unemployed and he knows what type of job you would like. Most importantly he now knows how to contact you. Facebook job shares with a provided link now get troll comments like, phone number? Contact details please? How to apply? If the job fits something you would apply to simply click the link a get the relevant details from the original source. Don’t get yourself earmarked as a public nuisance. You could very well ruin your chances of ever gaining employment through the means you are using by annoying social admin staff.

4.) Read the apply details and carry them out as instructed
Remember to mention the reference number and add some details about yourself. Its all about selling yourself so don’t do it half heartily. Would you employ someone who put no effort into themselves?

Just remember that for every job you now apply to on a popular site there is a big chance, that that job has already received over 100 applicants. Don’t remove yourself from the shortlist by making a simple mistake. Read the advert and use the application method stated in the details. This can range from a request to register with the company website, to sending an email with covering letter to even phoning them up! Each recruiter will use a different method, this is their preferred method and they might have a very good reason for using this method. I have seen frustrated job seekers demand a restaurants phone number and have had busy restaurant managers flat out refuse because they don’t have the time to answer phone calls and answer questions to what has been explained in the job advert. Self employed plumbers out on the road might prefer if you call them as they hardly ever get time in front of a laptop so you sending emails might never get your application seen.

How CV Showing Years of Employment With the Same Employer Can Hurt You (and How to Fix It)

We often hear that employment gaps in a resume can hurt a candidate, but did you know long term employment at the same employer can also be perceived negatively?

Having stable employment is certainly not a bad thing. However, if it is with the same employer and your resume doesn’t show you made progress, it is not an impressive mark for a potential employer viewing your resume.

When a candidate has stayed with the same employer for many years, it can be considered in two ways: 1) You are lucky to have found a good employer and enjoy what you do, or, 2) You are afraid to take on new challenges and do not like stepping out of your comfort zone.

A potential employer may view your long term stay with an employer negatively for several reasons:

    1. Questions of Ambition and Motivation. If you have been working with the same employer for several years and your resume shows you have the same title as when you started, it can lead an employer to wonder if you have reached the peak of your career. Employers want people who have the ambition and motivation to progress.

 

  1. Marketable Skills. When you have been with the same employer for a long period of time, your skills may grow stale and an employer may think you only know one way of doing things. Do you have what it takes to be effective and competitive? Are you willing to try things differently and can you learn new skills? How well would you adapt to a new environment, one that may require you to stretch into new and different skills requirements?

Here are ways in which your long tenure with an employer can impress potential employers rather than scare them away.

    1. Show Advancement. Whether you received promotions or transferred to work in different departments within the company, make note of these changes and advancements on your resume. Specify the dates you were in certain roles so the potential employer sees that you made advancements in your career.

 

    1. Detail Your Achievements. Rather than group achievements as a whole with the same employer, break it down on your resume. Under each title and the specific dates you held the position, specify the challenge and accomplishments. This will indicate to a potential employer that you have continued to acquire knowledge, achieve new outcomes, and excel in new capabilities throughout your career with the long term employer and that you have taken on new challenges or projects.

 

    1. Advanced Training and Education. If you continued to pursue education or took particular courses or training relevant to the job with your employer, make note of it on your resume. This shows a potential employer that you have a desire to continue to improve your abilities and your job skills have not gone outdated. You also have the initiative to acquire new job skills.

 

  1. Provide a Reason for Leaving Your Long Term Employer. A potential employer always has this question in mind for candidates in these situations. They want to know that you are serious about your decision to move on from your long term employer and that you are not leaving for reasons of a bailout – perhaps your performance has grown stale and you are simply looking for a way out.

Never talk negatively about your employer. Simply indicate you have valued the experience and skills gained from you previous position and you are looking for new challenges where you can apply your marketable skills and continue to grow with new experiences.

Your loyalty and dedication is an impressive sign for potential employers, but they have to know you have grown over the years, and still have ambition, motivation, up-to-date skills, and good intentions for wanting to leave your long term employer. Doubt in any of the particular areas mentioned above can lead a potential employer to pass on your resume and application, so use these tips to make sure you get noticed.

 

7 Areas of Limitation in Career Development

 

  • Limited Self-Belief and Lack of Self-Esteem: As career professionals, we generally underestimate our own abilities and attribute a greater degree of efficiency and aptitude to others. This limiting belief holds career development back from achieving its full potential. Professionals who desire career advancement need to understand that their abilities match up competitively with others in their field. Developing self-belief and self-esteem are the first steps for successful self-representation. Confidence is contagious and easily identified.

 

  • Self-Defeating Behaviors: Everyone has habits, some good and some bad. Bad habits interfere with career development. Saying inappropriate things or making improper gestures at the wrong time does not present itself favorably with co-workers, bosses, or gatekeepers. Behaviors develop reputations that precede professional engagements. Judgments are passed based on previous work behaviors and rumors are spread that illuminate this perceived flaw. Stress and fatigue contribute to less than desirable behavior and being aware of other’s reactions is a tell sign that should alert us to keep or replace enacted behaviors.

 

  • Uninformed about Steps and Techniques Needed for Progression and Advancement: Most workers find themselves doing repetitive tasks and wonder why they’re not advancing. Some people are satisfied doing the ordinary, but not you (or you wouldn’t be wasting your time reading this). Ask questions – how did she move up so fast? What did she do? How did she do it? Who was her contact? Here are 7 steps that can be implemented right away and possibly the missing element needed for your promotion: 1. Create relationships 2. Be early, leave late 3. Do more than asked 4. Tell everyone how great your boss is 5. Support other departments 6. Ask for more work and do it 7. Ask for a promotion. If you don’t accept just getting by then you will advance. Ultimately, the blame for our failure or success rests on our shoulders and we need to identify the sequential steps to meet our needs regardless of how difficult these steps could be.

 

 

  • Misaligned Goals and Values: Goals and values are not the same thing. However, negative effects are felt when they are not in sync. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is that really where you want to be? What do you value most in life? Does that goal align with your most important value? When goals and values are aligned, there is an aura of synergy that is created, jubilance in work follows, new energy is created, positive momentum is created, and a resounding vigor is experienced. Do you feel a weight on your shoulders? Maybe your goals and values are in misalignment. What quick change could you make to have the two roads meet?

 

  • Lack of Self-Awareness concerning Strengths, Knowledge, and Abilities (KSAs): Never underestimate your education and life experience. Most people do. We all have strengths, but not all of us take the time and put in the effort needed to make innate strengths into abilities. Not knowing your strengths can limit your development for the long-term. What do you enjoy doing? What do you do without any effort? Where do you get the most compliments from others? We all have life experiences that shape our behaviors and attitudes. These life lessons are not learned or experienced by everyone. We learn by doing. It is common to underestimate our knowledge. We assume that others know the same things and others have had similar experiences. This is not the case. We share similar experiences within cultures, but the overall picture for each individual is unique. We are all different in our own ways and have something valuable to add to the conversation. Never underestimate your value.

 

  • Inability to Communicate Effectively: Did you ever hear of the game “telephone”? A message is whispered from one player to the next and the message heard by the last player is always completely different from the original message. The biggest problem in today’s fast paced, over-worked, and over-informed environment is the inability to communicate effectively. As an author or writer, one learns to write as if the audience does not know anything. On the other hand, when we speak or write, we generally accept that our audience has a basic understanding of the topic. The error in communication lies in not clearly providing the message as it is intended. Critical points are excluded to maximize time, but those points need to be filled in by the audience receiving the message. This misunderstanding leads to crucial errors and ultimately destroys more time than was initially saved. Take the time to communicate your message clearly and effectively in the first place and save yourself the headache of having to clean up the associated errors.

 

 

  • Lack of Leveraging Networks and Relationships: The general belief is that our closest friends and family are the only ones who would help us in times of need. Studies on social networking suggest that this is completely wrong. Your external network is willing to help and you need to leverage the benefits. Loose connections seem to provide greater benefits and they find greater opportunities that your immediate network could never realize. The power of your external network exists in its positioning which is completely outside your immediate network’s reach. Ask for support and probe your distant network to see how they can support your career development. People are willing to help. It’s our nature. Your external network could provide the needed boost that will take your career to the next level. If your distant network is limited then you need to create an action plan for cultivating connections. In today’s globalized and interconnected economy, competition is high, and relationships are gold. Ultimately, this works because of reciprocity and the genuine character of our kind. When you get the opportunity, pay it forward because what goes around comes around.

 

Job Application – Why Yours Was Rejected

It is only once their job application has been rejected, that most job seekers get an insight in why their job application failed.

Unfortunately this tells them that with some fore thought, they could have figured this out for themselves. Let me help you avoid these common mistakes, and give you some insider advice on how to maximise your job application success

Job Application: it’s a personnel thing

All job applications do not start with the job seeker, but with the employer. A job is approved inside an organisation through the combination of two forces:

Business need
The manager of the team in which the job will be fulfilled
This is an important insight, as it should tell you that the final decision on who is employed is made by that manager, and that the successful job applicant will be considered the most able to deliver the defined business requirements.

The result of these two forces is the creation of a job description, from which the job advert is derived. Only after the job is approved to this stage, does job application become a personnel process. But not recognising the human beings wholly in the personal exchange – the manager and the successful jobholder – is a key mistake of many job applicants

You and Your Job Search

A job application starts long before you start reading newspapers, crawling job boards, trudging to the Job Centre or chatting to friends. Your job search starts with you, and a clear definition of:

Who and what you are
What you hence offer
What you want to do/see yourself doing long term
If you don’t know what you want to do, then any job will do, and hence multiple job application rejection will follow

Job Market testing

Although you now know what you want to do, the jobs market may at that point in time not want those exact skills, in that search geography, for the pay level which makes economic sense to you. You need to test that the job market is offering that job at the right pay level, and this is where the real advantage of the jobs board driven job search becomes apparent.

Go to your favourite jobs board, keeping the title/skills consistent and setting the pay level to zero. Then open the geographic search criteria until the result shows at least 20 jobs. If you can’t find at least 20 suitable jobs, then your ideal job presently doesn’t exist in the jobs market. Either: go back to stage1 and think of another interim step to your ideal long term job; wait three months; or accept constant job application upset.

The second problem at this stage is having too many jobs to apply for. Again, go to your favourite jobs board, and if after filling in your desired criteria there are more than 100 job results returned, then go back and more closely define what you offer an employer/seek next and long term. Falling into any job will do syndrome means that you are not focusing sufficiently in the eyes of the employer on what you can do well/offer, and hence will be rejected.

Professional CV

Although it disappoints me to say it, as a Professional CV Writer if you approach your job search in a particular manner, you don’t actually need a Professional CV. But, for 95% of job applications, you will at some point in the legal and hence defined HR process need a CV. In the modern world, a one-size fits all CV just won’t get you the required telephone interview: the only output action required when an employer takes when presented with a good CV.

If like many today you heard a friend or someone in a pub used a free template successfully to get employed, make sure you don’t follow the herd: templates mean you don’t stand out from the crowd. Good Professional CV Writers create engaging 2page documents that make employers pick up the telephone, because they communicate that the job applicant has the desired skills to fit the job description, and show social fit with the organisation/manager. If your template doesn’t, how ever pretty it is or however long your list of hobbies and interests, expect to be rejected

Job Application Form

The one thing that job seekers fail continually to understand, and yet employment professional do, is that you can’t beat the odds of where you find and how you apply for jobs.

For instance, as an internal employee offered a promotion, your chances are 90%. For a known person interacting directly with a recruiting organisation, your chances are around 50%. Your best chance of getting employed via a public job advert, be that on a company website or via newspaper, are around 12% on average. Where as a “follow the process” application via a job sourced on a jobs board could easily be as low as 2%

So why do so many job seekers think that they will be successful spending more than 10% o the time on jobs boards? Rejection is bound into and dictated by the where your find jobs and how you apply

Job application confidence

This is the last point of job application rejection, and it is a general issue throughout the current job-seeking world: personal confidence. Job seeking in itself is a job, and it is a tough one. There is research, marketing, paperwork, cold calling, direct costs and worst of the lot: a high level rejection. Even the successful job seekers will be rejected at least once, which means that their success ratio is 50%. I haven’t yet met an unsuccessful job seeker who was in some way lacking in self-confidence. It is one of the reasons that I decided to in part cross the divide and become a CV Writer, because universally in most job searches the CV is a common point. If you read through this article, and are still wondering why you are rejected, then after looking in the mirror get out with friends and family and remember what’s important. After taking a break for a day or two, then go back to applying for jobs with renewed vigour, and seek some help in your job search.

In Part2, we will cover the actual job application process.

A job application is as easy as you make it for yourself, but the one big piece of inside advice you should take to avoid job application disappointment: if you don’t know you, what you offer, and what you want to do, then you will be: REJECTED!

Good Luck!

BY Good Luck!

Ian R McAllister