When we start on the road of seeking a job, be it to get out of unemployment, a career step or a career change, we are almost always starting from a cold starting point.

There are naturally big timeline gaps between periods of job seeking. As you can appreciate, there are many small mistakes you will find yourself making time and time again as we are not job seeking experts.

Here are some pitfalls that if you avoid you are increasing your chances of success;

1. Avoid DRAFT cover letters

As per our CV Writing advice, cover letters can be very effective depending on the type of position you are applying for and how much effort you put into it. You can start with a template for layout, etc.

However the content must be 100% original and specific to that application. A draft cover letter with details edited such as job title applying for, date, etc, will come across as exactly that, a draft. If you are using the cover letter, make the reader feel special!

2. Procrastination

We’ve all done it at some point in time and continue to do it in some aspects of our lives. Don’t let a deadline date for an application become a target date for submitting your application.

Get it in as soon as you identify a job you think you are the right candidate for and want. A deadline does not necessarily mean that the no application will be screened before that date.

3. Standard CV Templates

On our CV & Interview Prep Workshop page you will find a template CV and a template cover letter. Templates are a great way to start your CV building as there is nothing more tedious than starting CV from scratch.

However, the template, once populated, should not be your finished masterpiece. Look at the job advertised, see what it is that the employer is looking for. Push the key criteria you meet to the top of your CV.

If that means your experience, achievements or interests come straight after your personal details then so be it.

CVs only get a short window of the reader’s attention and so you need to make an impression and sustain that interest as best you can.

The CV content should be reflective of your abilities and strengths, but the layout and design should be perfected with the reader in mind for that particular application.

4. Search, Apply, Wait..........Still Waiting

Nobody likes playing the waiting game except lazy people looking for an excuse for not getting the interview. “I applied but heard nothing back…” get yourself noticed.

Don’t follow the usual trend like so many others who you will get lost in the pile with. Ring the recruiter/Manager, and see if you can get any further details of the position, the day to day stuff that may not be included in the advert and what the future of the position will look like (any additional task from expected company growth/diversification).

This will help you tailor your CV even more and also make you application stick out when it arrives… “That’s the person who called me.”

After your application, wait a couple of days and then make the follow-up call to confirm that they got your application, what stage the recruitment process is at and when could you expect to hear back from them if you have got an interview.

5. Over Demanding!

Manage your expectations! Expectations of yourself, the employers and the whole job seeking process. Having too high expectations of any of these things can lead to frustration and needless stress.

While you should never undersell yourself or lose confidence, be mindful of the fact that you are possibly one of hundreds of applicants and there are never any guarantees.

Don’t get too disappointed by an unsuccessful application, when life throws you lemons just make lemonade!

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