Today’s job market is highly competitive. If you do not know your onions, landing a great new job may be the most frustrating thing ever. Applying for a new job is an art you must master if you want to succeed in this terrain. Forget the fact that in Nigeria majority of what matters when getting a job is if you have great connections. While that’s a thing, you should also know that there are certain factors that can still make or mar your chances of getting a good job.
The following are ten of such mistakes:
- NOT FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS: Don’t place emphasis on the day of your interview alone. Before your interview, there is a very important step that must be taken seriously. This step is your job application. Make sure you read all the directions thoroughly when filling out your application. If a field does not apply to you, leave a brief explanation for it. This will tell your employer that you pay attention to detail.
- NOT BEING SPECIFIC ON THE POSITION YOU’RE APPLYING FOR: Don’t just apply for any position or say that you can work in any capacity. By saying you’ll take any job, you may appear to look desperate. As much as you can, be specific about what you’re applying for.
- BAD AND SLOPPY GRAMMAR: Your resume and cover letter is not a WhatsApp conversation where you can delete a typo even after the reader has seen it. Bad grammar is a huge turnoff for employers. Ensure you do thorough proofreading of your application before sending it. This is not only limited to spell checks. Check for tense agreement and punctuation errors too.
- OUTLINING RESPONSIBILITIES INSTEAD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Under your work experience, you’re supposed to put a brief description beneath each position. However, it will be a mistake if you put your responsibilities instead of what you did. Anyone can be responsible for anything; it takes results to know who’s worth the job.
- OVERWORKED RESUME: Your resume should be at two pages max. Cut out any experience that’s not relevant to the job at hand.
- USE OF PASSIVE VOICE: Using passive voice in your application will prevent you from commanding attention. Use the active voice by speaking in the first-person voice. Also, avoid speaking about yourself in the third person.
- INCLUDING YOUR SALARY REQUIREMENTS: Sometimes you may be asked by your employer to include this however it is advisable that you don’t – especially if you weren’t instructed to do so.
- LONG EMAILS: Sometimes, your employer may not require only a resume or CV. You may not need a cover letter. In cases like this, make your email straight to the point with a little introduction of yourself.
- POOR COVER LETTER: On the other hand, if you do need to submit a cover letter you have to make sure it’s a good one. A traditional cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself to your employer. Go beyond what the job can do for you.
- APPLYING LATE: This is perhaps the most important thing. If you get your application right but fail to meet the deadline for submission, then you definitely won’t get the job. Ensure that you get your application turned in on time.