A recent article in the SMH by Larissa Ham covered the 10 most common mistakes to avoid when applying for a new role. How many of the 10 mistakes have you committed?
1. Failing to REALLY believe you’re the best person for the role
Over and over again we find that people can sabotage their own application because they assume that other applicants are better placed to be appointed. This can result in them giving less than a 100% commitment to the process. Their underlying thought is that there’s no point in investing the time and focus required. Instead the person will think ‘I’ll just throw my hat in the ring and see how I go’.
2. Not knowing why you want the job
Why are you applying for this job? What’s driving you to put in an application? If you cannot clearly articulate why this role aligns with your career ambitions then, again, you are sabotaging your chances of being appointed. The most common demonstration of this is when a person is so focussed upon leaving their current role that they cannot explain why the role they’re applying for matches with their ideal next position.
3. Sounding just like everyone else
As Larissa notes in her article, you might be using all the buzzwords, but there’s a danger in being too generic and in using one cliché after another. This can be difficult to avoid when you’re just one of a number of people being interviewed by a selection committee, but give some thought to mixing up your language.
4. Not creating networks
The article suggests that the ‘quiet achiever’ can often be overlooked. The advice is to not hide your light – you need to create and maintain a good network of people who can promote you and your success. You need to get involved with others outside your immediate work setting. Go and meet with people that you’d not necessarily have to meet with each day.
5. Not keeping your CV and online profile up to date
Your resume should always be a work-in-progress rather than an onerous task to recreate when you decide it needs to be updated after 5 years lost in a file. This is particularly true for your ‘professional development’ section which can be more difficult to reconstruct with the passing of time.
If you take the time to set up an online profile, such as in LinkedIn, make sure it is maintained.
6. Throwing your hat in the ring too soon after redundancy or a difficult departure
There are all types of emotions which are evident when a person leaves an organisation in difficult circumstances – there can be anger, bitterness, anxiety, disbelief…….. Unfortunately these various emotions are on show when you interview too soon for new roles. The potential employer is looking for you to display excitement & desire to join them, but what they sense are negative emotions. You need to give yourself time and space to get rid of the negativity.
7. Not being honest
We’ve all seen the published examples of people being caught out by fake resumes. No more needs be said other than don’t jeopardise your personal integrity by fudging on your resume.
8. Waffling on in interviews and on your resume
I get it: you’re excited about the role and typically have only 45-60 minutes to impress the interview panel. You have a lot you want to say. You, perhaps, solve this by a speedy delivery where you talk on & on & on. What you said might have been wonderful. BUT you leave the panel with the wrong impression.
Remember, it is not the best person who gets the job. It is the person who leaves the best impression. This really is an example of where less can be more.
Likewise, why would you submit a resume of 10 pages or more – which we often receive. My personal best was a 27 page monster that could stack up against ‘Gone With the Wind’. The first job listed was 35 years prior but still went into details of the job.
Remember, a resume is to introduce you, not tell your life story.
9. Outlining your career objectives
You’ll get many different opinions on the value of having career objective statements and lists of your (self-identified) skills on a resume for a leadership role. I agree with Larissa on this. With a resume being no more than 3 (maybe 4) pages, such statements and lists are a waste of prime CV real estate. The employer is interested in your successes and how they translate to their context, not a generic laundry list of skills and objectives.
10. Failing to research the company
Listed as number 10 but perhaps the most important error made by people invited to interview. At a time when so much information is so readily available, it still surprises to see how many people come to interview with an organisation without having done their homework. Organisations are always keen to know how compelling your motive is to join them. One of the chief means of learning about your level of interest in them is the research you’ve completed. If you’re not prepared to research, then I’d be as harsh as to suggest you not bother to progress your application.
Read all Larissa’s article at http://www.executivestyle.com.au/10-reasons-why-you-didnt-get-that-job-you-applied-for-gz6rov?btis#ixzz4xnuNlnCD