Job Application Boo-boos

You get only one precious chance when you submit an application for the job of your dreams. So before you hit “submit” on your keyboard, or seal that envelope addressed to the Human Resources department, take one final crucial step.

Go through what you’ve written one last time and check for any of the common mistakes that can result in your application landing in the “rejected” pile on the hirer’s desk.

Fix These Common Job Application Mistakes – Mistakes in Your Writing

Paying close attention to what you’ve written for your application may seem quite basic but it is critical. Incorrect grammar and spelling and an inappropriate tone are some of the common elements of a vetoed job application. Don’t assume that grammar and spelling issues can be easily avoided by any software or even Microsoft’s spell checker.

Most software and review mechanisms cannot detect all errors with one hundred percent accuracy. Such things require your utmost personal attention. If you’re not too confident with your language skills, consider a brush-up. You can sign up for short-term English courses designed for adults to enhance their occupational skills.

If you know someone who is really good in English (a blogger friend perhaps), then he or she might be able to help you. You will need someone else to proofread your application in any case before you send it off. Anyone can be your proof-reader, even your mom!

Some common spelling mistakes that pop up in job applications include “manger” instead of “manager” and “your” rather than “you’re”. Your sense of grammar and spelling can actually indicate the level of your intelligence to the organisation. Your application should be written in an active tone rather than a passive one.

Speaking in the first person emphasises actions as genuine accomplishments and makes your application more dynamic. Just read aloud these two sentences and compare the effect: “A forty percent increase to the annual sales target was reached in 2001” and “I reached a forty percent increase in the annual sales target in 2001”.

Setting a lively tone, doesn’t however, mean that you can use irreverent gimmicks. Gimmicks may catch your reader’s eye but make you look highly unprofessional and juvenile. Typos in your application also indicate how careless you are.

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Fix These Common Job Application Mistakes – Including Unnecessary Information

If you have a job application that is longer than two pages, you’ve probably included too many unnecessary things. Your aim should be to show off the most relevant and anticipated information so that your application stands out amongst those of all the other applicants.

Start off by scanning through the experience and skills you’ve included. Do you really need all of them? Make sure that those you do describe in detail are ones that lend support to your getting this particular job. If you have more than 10-15 years of experience, make sure that you give details for no more than 15 years back. If you have any employment gaps in your career, justify them with valid reasons.

You don’t want the hirer to get the impression that you’re unreliable. Don’t give employer cold feet by conveying the idea that you have exceedingly high expectations of the workplace. Don’t make anyone doubt your capacity for loyalty as it may be one of the major traits they look for in a candidate. Load your application with accomplishments.

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Instead of listing your responsibilities of a past job experience, describe your accomplishments. Accomplishments are impressive and they indicate that you are a responsible person. Some more progressive employers dislike the use of common application elements like “objectives” and “references may be provided upon request”. Be sure to do your research about a potential employer or organisation and avoid such expressions if you conclude that they may be perceived as outdated.

If the organisation asks you to include an estimated salary, it is essential to do so. The reason it’s essential is not to show that you’re good at following instructions! It’s also crucial that you offer a realistic figure for your expected salary. It’s best to come up with your expectation after doing some industry research on the position you’re applying for. If you have not been asked to include a salary expectation, don’t consider doing so for even one second.

Remember that a first impression is almost always the last impression. You need to make your application look appealing. If you are a designer by profession, you are in a great position to make your application visually attractive. In any other case, refrain from using different fonts and colours. This would lend an unprofessional touch.

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Fix These Common Job Application Mistakes – Applying for an Unsuitable Job

Before you apply for a job, be sure that you are actually qualified for it. Specify the particular position you’re seeking in the organisation and mention it in your application. In the process of doing this, you’ll gradually ascertain if you’re underqualified, overqualified or perfectly equipped for that job.

However, in some cases, you’re asked to simply email a job application. In such a case, make sure you include a few important sentences in the body of the email. Introduce yourself and thank the person receiving your application for considering it.

In such case, make sure you include a few important sentences in the body of the email. Introduce yourself and thank the person receiving your application for considering it.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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