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Five mistakes people make when applying for jobs

Trying to land a job can be a bit of a journey, and although doing your research and seeking advice from the people closest to you are great first steps to getting that elusive ‘perfect role’, you’ll find that sometimes the basics just aren’t enough. So the question is, where are you falling short?

A recent survey has found the top five mistakes people make when they’re applying for jobs, and the truth is they’re all pretty easy to fix. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of changes to finally start seeing results.


84% of people don’t find out the name of the person doing the hiring.

It’s not always possible, but if you can find out the name of the hiring manager, use it on your cover letter and all other communications you have with the employer. It’ll make your message feel more personal than if you were to use the classic ‘to whom it may concern’ — and it may even score you a few extra brownie points.


57% of applicants don’t send a thank you after an interview.

The interview process can feel a little like a battle arena where only the last man standing wins, when in reality, an interview is more like a first date. If you feel the date went well, naturally you would text the person to thank them and tell them you had a good time. Although a little less intimate, the same should be done after an interview. If you were happy with how it went, send a quick email the following day to thank them for their time and for the opportunity. You can even use the email as a chance to ask for feedback.


54% don’t customise their resume based on the job they’re applying for.

OK, so resume writing kind of sucks. But submitting the same resume for every position you apply for can't possibly meet each employer's individual criteria. If you want to grab a hiring manager’s attention (or get passed automated resume screeners), take a moment to customise your resume. It might be a little time consuming, but it’ll help you stand out from other applicants. 


45% don’t include a cover letter.

It’s simple, skip the cover letter and you miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself. A resume tends to be fact-based and somewhat formal, but a cover letter can be infused with personality, giving you an opportunity to show the reader a more personal side. Don’t be afraid to include interests and ideals that may help the employer determine whether you’ll be a good culture fit for their organisation. 


37% don’t follow up after they send in their application.

Sending in an application for a job and hearing nothing back can at times be a little discouraging. But you don’t have to sit around twiddling your thumbs while waiting for a response. If you’ve applied for a position and haven’t heard from the hiring manager a week or two after the application due date, go ahead and follow up.

The truth is, there are a lot of factors involved when you’re applying for jobs, but if you get the basics right and find a few other ways to differentiate yourself, your chances of landing an interview will increase substantially.