OK, you’re really busy…and you need to get in that job application quickly. So you rush it through and then quickly click on ‘send’. BIG MISTAKE!

I’ve been recruiting this month for a role here at Vic Careers. My name was clearly stated as the contact, and if anyone had actually taken the time to look through our website, they could have found me easily. So why did a significant number of emails and cover letters come through with the following:
• Hi! (excuse me but this is not professional and you certainly don’t know me well enough to start off like this)
• Dear ‘Mr’ (really? Shows me you didn’t do any research at all)
• To whom it may concern (technically OK but if the person has been clearly identified this shows lack of research and attention to detail)
• To the hiring manger (same as above)

You would have thought that if someone was applying for a role in a Careers Service that they would take extra special care in preparing their job applications. We are surrounded by job applications on a daily basis, run workshops and give individual advice on the topic. It would be fair to say that Careers Service staff are even more critical in assessing applications than most others. It was quite disheartening to receive many ill-prepared applications.

Sadly, it was amazingly easy to discard some of the applications…
• Two applicants were very enthusiastic about applying to Massey University!
• Another thought they were the perfect applicant for the Business Advisor role (the role was Employability Programmes Coordinator)
• Several asked for the role description for which there was a very clear link to the website and online application form
• Several asked if the job was full-time or part-time when the words part-time was indicated in the title of the role description
• Several did not give any indication of their computer and social media skill levels when clearly listed as essential criteria
• A few had no covering letter and as their background was not in education, career development, human resources or any other relevant area, I did not even have the remotest idea of why they were interested in the role
• Other covering letters rambled on without focusing on why they were interested in the role or why they felt they had the experience and skills to be considered
• One replied that they read the role description with interest, please could I tell them what qualifications and skills were required? (did they really read the role description?)
• Last but not least, a busy recruiter has little or no patience for typos and grammatical errors in the job application. If you can’t get the detail correct when you are trying to make such an important impression, how will you actually be once you are in the job?

The moral of the story is…if you haven’t got time to put in a proper application, then it is really best not to put one in at all. If you are genuinely interested in the role, then your application must be thoughtfully and carefully prepared. Find a friend to check over your application before you send it off – remember that you can always get CVs and Cover Letters checked by the Vic Careers staff during daily drop-in sessions: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/st_services/careers/about_us/hours.aspx

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Advice, Job application, Jobs, Looking for work


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