Here at PPS, we screen 100’s of CV’s on a weekly basis, often with many being rejected at the first stage. Some of these rejections could be prevented if the candidate was actually aware of the role they are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a retail role, would you tailor your CV so that your accounting skills are highlighted accompanied with paragraphs describing how you really want a career in finance? A potential employer would take one look at this and question your commitment straight away.
- When applying for a role, the first thing you need to do is read the job description/advert thoroughly. You would be surprised at the number of candidates I have spoken with who have actually failed to do this!
- If there are killer questions, answer them honestly. You will be found out if you are not telling the truth so why waste your time and mine by being dishonest?
- You should conduct some brief research in to the company so that you at least know who you are applying to and have an idea of what they do. If you are applying for various roles, make some notes so that if you are contacted you know which position it relates to.
- If you include a cover letter, make sure that it relates to the role that you are applying for. I have lost count of the letters I have received that have no relevance to the role.
- Check your grammar and spelling – it goes without saying how important this is!
- Make sure you are answering the questions correctly - if it asks you for a minimum 500 character answer, do that. Recently, I screened some online applications for one of our clients where the candidate had a 10 character answer and then filled the rest up with dots! This will not help your application at all.
This is your first and only chance to make a good first impression so make it count!
Have you had any experience with ‘bad’ applications? Any hair-pulling mistakes you have made as an applicant yourself? Comment now – we would love to hear from you!