1. Failing to look for a job in the first place! Speak to everyone you know and let them know you are looking for a job, be specific what sort of job you are looking for. You never know when a divine connection is at the corner. Check out online for vacancies, check out newspapers. telling friends is the best option
2. Not applying for a job when you find it! If you are lazy the job may not come looking for you; you will get grey haired waiting! we re no longer in the 70′s!
3. Forgetting to attach your CV with the application: this looks very careless
4. Putting your CV and cover letter together (The employer could assume there is no CV and thus discard your letter)
5. Putting your cover letter as a mail item instead of an attachment
6. Sending a CV that is not relevant to the position you are seeking. Remember you will need to have 3 or more CVs based on the job you are applying. If you have a lot of experience there is no need of squeezing it all in one CV, just include the one that is relevant to your employer. The one that will make them think you will be adding value to their organization.
7. Sending a cover letter or CV with spelling mistakes! (This a an ICC crime)
8. Attaching documents that the advertisement had not asked for like drivers license, birth certificate, ID, transcripts, marriage certificate!!!! etc
9. If you are sending the application online which is mostly the case nowadays; do not save the file name with a different or irrelevant name, like DOCs, Carol, etc. Make sure you save your CV and application letter as: e.g. CV Caroline BONGO, or Resume Wasike JAMES, or Motivation Letter Juliani MWANIKI!
10. Putting irrelevant details on your CV like dads name, moms name, husbands career unless they have specifically asked for it (I wonder why someone would ask for that information!). and if your are not married please write single instead of ‘not married’; just like the married ones don’t write ‘Not single!’
11. Sending documents that are not formatted. Ask most employers, they will throw those in the trash without even looking. Who wants an employee who is not keen on important documents? A CV is a living and important document to you, if you are careless with it, what happens when you get employed. would I have to edit everything you send out?
12. Not having an email contact in this digital generation: get above email and Facebook as well and get yourself an official Skype and LinkedIn account!
13. Forgetting to put your contacts in the CV and cover letter! Now if we like you, how do we get hold of you away from going to the post office to ask for the re trace route to your house!
14. Sending an application letter from someone else’s email account and not notifying in the subject; Let’s say your email is blocked and you have to send an email urgently, and you don’t want the hustle of checking emails in a new account since yours will be resolved soon. In such a case if you use someone else’s account mention that clearly in the subject line of the email
15. Mixing up your training or experience such that they lack a logical order. I had big problems with this because I was afraid my changing jobs would cause me not to be trusted with new jobs. But I am a very good employee and I work hard. Stuff happens and that’s how I lost or left the jobs, not because I was bad. Now what I do in my CV I don’t do the chronological layout for my experience and training (even the trainings are now too many to make sense). I use the functional approach: I just state what I have done: I make my CV simply skill based. When you read my CV my skills and capability come out strongly; so this is how I lay information
- QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
And with each skill, I lay out all the experience I have had in regards to it! Sending a format that is difficult to download; the employer will just leave it, they have too many CVs to bother!
16. Sending a Virus to your future boss! They won’t be too happy with you. Be careful what computer you use if you don’t have your own!
17. Submitting application later then the deadline date indicated; there is an exception for this though. Say you got the application late and you feel your skills would fit in with this position; in that case then you can send but explain that you only got to see the application late and if I am able to consider you I can look at your CV because you have something unique to offer my company!
18. Writing a cover letter that is too long or two short: 1 page made of 4 paragraphs is basically enough; the employer doesn’t want to read a blog post in the middle seeking out for a good candidate!
19. Having your CV too long or too short. Again 3-4 pages would do. Nobody wants to read an instruction manual inform of your experiences!
20. Being too casual in your application letter: Your future boss wants to feel like the boss right from the beginning (But do I say!). take all the time you need to prepare for your application: research if you have to, give your application to someone to proof read it for you; and be creative without getting into a comical state!
21. And finally always remember the motivation letter, cover letter and application letter are one and the same thing; please don’t send the 3 of them for the same application!
Article by Caroline Bongo