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  • Writer's picturePenny Langstaff

4 Reasons For Unsuccessful Job Applications

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

4 Reasons for Unsuccessful Job Applications - Blog from Penny Langstaff at Apply and Succeed Job Search Coaching

Usually it's one of these 4 areas of the job application process that needs to be changed so that unsuccessful becomes successful! The key thing to remember is that if you just continue doing the same thing going forward, it's unlikely you'll notice any change.

  1. The jobs you’re applying for aren't right for your skills and experience It may seem obvious, but are you applying for the right jobs? This can often be an issue when you've set up job alerts. You receive a notification with the "right" job title so you go ahead and apply. However, job titles are often different depending on the company, so unless you're reading the advert carefully, you could be applying for a job that’s unsuitable. Another tip for finding the right jobs to target is to do some research on what other job titles may be applicable. For example, if you're a graphic design graduate but have got knowledge around social media and digital marketing, then try putting in words like Social Media, Marketing or Digital to job boards and see what comes up. However you do your search, always check every job advert to make sure the role's at the right level and then, as always, adapt your CV or Resume and cover letter to the requirements.

  2. You haven't updated your CV or Resume Again, it goes without saying doesn't it? but so many people don't adapt their CV or Resume to each job application. This is your sales document and "door opener" to the recruiter/company, so it's essential that it's always updated, well laid out and spell-checked. There's more information on this in my video and blog here

  3. You haven't written a cover letter or it's badly written Cover letters are almost always requested these days, so it's important that you take time to write a good one! A cover letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the recruiter/company and tell them why you’re applying, why you’re interested in the company and what relevant skills and experience you’d bring. It should always be well laid out, not too long, spell-checked and relevant! There’s more information this here.

  4. Interview is letting you down If your application has got you through to an interview but you’re not getting to the next stage, it’s likely there’s something in your interview “performance” that’s letting you down. Nerves can play a significant part in this, but equally being over-confident can also be detrimental. Usually however, it's one of these areas that needs looking at:

    • Lack of preparation & research

    • Poor presentation and/or communication skills

    • Too little or too much information provided

    • Inadequate or irrelevant examples to behavioural questions

The key thing to remember is not to get despondent. You just have to find out what needs changing and then take action!

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