Hoping to find your ideal job? A recent survey has highlighted employers’ and recruiters’ main application irritations. If you are guilty, it could be the difference between you getting your dream management consultancy job and being turned down before you have even started.
The results are fairly unsurprising but mention easily avoidable application red flags that can be overlooked by applicants. We would recommend actively looking out for these and avoiding them if you are searching for your ideal job.
1. Errors on a CV
In one survey, over 50% of recruiters voted poor spelling and grammar on CVs as “their number one application turn-off”. They are thought to indicate a lack of time and care spent on an application. They can usually be resolved with a little effort. Modern spellcheck provides little excuse for errors. If possible, a second pair of proof-reading eyes can be helpful before an application is submitted. Many roles require exemplary written presentation standards whether client facing or internal. If there are errors on a CV that sets a poor precedent for performance in the role.
2. Not having the required qualifications for your ideal job
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly in the same survey by comparison, only 25% of recruiters voted a lack of relevant qualifications and background as more likely to inspire a decision to reject an application!
3. Logical CV
Almost as important as what is written is how it is written. Half of recruiters surveyed said a crucial consideration when reviewing a CV is a good, logical presentation, made in no more than two to three pages.
4. Trite phrasing
Also watch out for banalities so as to make your application stand out rather than grating. Another survey quotes one in three recruiters’ “biggest pet-hate phrase” on a CV to be “I enjoy socialising with friends”. Being a “good team player” also high on the list of annoyances. Avoiding hackneyed clichés is key with ‘socialising’ never counting as an ‘interest’ of note.
If you are a team player, reference examples that make this clear rather than using the phrase. Although some more left field pastimes might be unappealing to the reader, something a bit unusual might probably prove more eye-catching than one’s favourite activity being “travel” or “the latest technology”.
5. Interview etiquette
When questioned on interview decorum, 42% of recruiters considered unannounced lateness to be the biggest annoyance at interview whether face-to-face or on Zoom/Teams. However, the article stresses that advance warning and a legitimate excuse for delay is considered acceptable. This can help prevent someone from being marked down for the wrong reasons.
Finally, the survey highlighted the importance of being well-presented, with “positive body language”. In this video age the equivalent of a firm handshake perhaps is a warm greeting and sign off with good eye contact. DON’T assume that overly casual is acceptable. Formal business attire may be unnecessary but “smart casual” with a professional setting and background is essential.
We have done our own survey at Prism and have come up with a few more application ‘no no’s’. High on the list was inconsistency between employment dates on LinkedIn and the CV and overly long verbose CVs.
Application errors such as these are avoidable with a little thought. This will bring you one step closer to your ideal job.