So, you’ve found a job that you really want to apply for. You KNOW you’ll be perfect for it and you’ve spent all day putting together a CV and cover letter. But before you press ‘send’, STOP!
Take a moment to read our guide to common – and easy – application mistakes that can make the difference between getting a job interview and having your CV put straight on the ‘no’ pile…
1. Mr Jones? Oh, sorry, Mr James…
It may seem obvious but make sure that you have spelt the name of the person you’re sending the application to correctly – on the email and on your cover letter… and that you have their title correct. Mr Smith doesn’t want to be called Mr Jones, after all. Then, just to be on the safe side, double-check the company and product names that your spellchecker wouldn’t have caught.
2. Check it
Speaking of which, spell check. Spell check right now!
3. Right application, wrong company
If you’re sending out lots of applications at once double and triple check that the right CV is going to the right job. Every CV should be different – slightly tweaked to make sure it fits each job advert. If you send the wrong CV to the wrong job then you can really harm your chances…
4. Get attached
Attach your attachments! It does not look good if two minutes after you press send you email them again with a bashful ‘and this time with attachments’. This is especially true if you’ve listed attention to detail as one of your attributes.
5. Ready, set, format!
Make sure the format of your CV is easy to open for all computers – or at least most of them. There are so many different versions of Word now that some machines can’t access the files attached – it’s best to save your CV as a standard .doc file that any computer can open. Also, be careful with too much formatting – if it’s a highly designed CV for a creative role then a PDF file is a safer option.
6. Judge a book by its title
Your CV should have your name, in bold and clearly laid out, at the top of the document. You don’t need to write ‘CV’ at the top or even ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (shudder). You want them to remember your name!
7. Think about it
Make sure the email you’re sending the application from isn’t a cutesy personal email address. Beerlover69@hotmail.com isn’t likely to be taken seriously. This is also true of the email address you have added to your CV as a point of contact.
8. Once more for luck…
Spell check again!
9. …But remember
Spell checkers aren’t infallible. Go through it yourself and look for grammatical errors; if you’re not confident in editing your own work then get a friend or family member to go over it for you. You can always bribe them with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Lucky them.
10. And, finally
Now, take a breath. Have one more read through – yes, AGAIN! – and if you’re sure everything is 100% correct press send…