Unlucky for some - common mistakes candidate…

Feeling unlucky in your job search this Friday the 13th? Here are some common mistakes made by candidates when applying for jobs and how you can avoid them.

Not proofreading your CV

The average time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds, so hiring managers will most likely pass on a CV that has spelling or grammar mistakes. If you’re not confident that you could spot mistakes on your own CV, try using something like Grammarly or get a friend to go over it for you.

Using an old email address

76% of CVs are ignored if the email address included is unprofessional, so maybe take a break from that party.lad420@hotmail.co.uk email and opt for something a bit more appropriate. If you don’t have a more recent email, now’s the time to create a new one. Play it safe and stick with your name in any way, shape or form.

Applying for a job you’d never take

It’s tempting to play the numbers game when applying for job – surely the more applications sent out, the higher the chances of getting an interview? When it comes to job hunts, though, sometimes “quality over quantity” is the way to go. You could be wasting your own time and the hiring manager’s time by firing out applications for a role you’d never take anyway. Instead of feeling pressure to do X amount of job applications a day, put time and effort into personalising each job application. The aim of a job application should be getting hired, not just sitting down in front of the hiring manager for an interview, so think of the bigger picture when it comes to applications.

Sending out generic applications

Take the time to personalise job applications to increase your chances of being interviewed, whether this is in your CV, cover letter, or job form. You can do this easily by going onto the company website or LinkedIn page and picking out some key information about the company and including this in your application where possible. Glassdoor offers insights into the company culture, and including this information can help your application stand out.

Not checking your social media

70% of employers check candidates’ social media as part of the hiring process, and they’re not just doing it to be nosey. Employers are looking for red flags, such as inappropriate photos or videos, discriminatory comments, bad-mouthing previous employers, or unprofessional screen names. But don’t panic, these checks aren’t only to find out reasons not to hire you – they also want to see if you’d be a good fit for the company culture, have a creative side, demonstrate good communication skills, or even if you’ve won any awards.

Before beginning your job hunt, make sure to check your social media and see what impression potential employers will have of you. Only post what you wouldn’t mind hiring managers seeing, and avoid posting rants about your old workplace!

Lying on your CV

Around 33% of job seekers falsify important information on their CVs every year, with the most common lies including up-selling education history, lying about the amount of time spent in a job, exaggerating job responsibilities, and fabricating references.

It’s natural to want to sell yourself when applying for jobs, and always tempting to embellish on your achievements a bit. Afterall, what are the chances that your interviewer is going to have a grand piano handy to test out your Grade 8 piano skills? Just be careful – you never know when lies like this could catch you out. Who knows, maybe you’ll be asked to perform for the company director some day!

The best thing to do is to take an honest approach and emphasise the skills you actually possess. Feel free to throw in some information about your hobbies and interests, as these could make you stand out. Those digital photography classes you took a year ago could signal to the hiring manager that you’ve got that creative streak they’re looking for.

You can avoid any of these common mistakes by speaking to our recruitment team here in HMC at recruit@hmcglobal.co.uk