7 months ago
Are you applying for role after role and not hearing back?
Are you doing yourself an injustice at interview?
Stop selling yourself short!
One of the most important parts of job searching is selling yourself effectively – whether it’s through your CV, cover letter or interview. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy task, meaning you could be compromising your applications without even realising it.
To make sure you’re showing employers what you can really do, here are eight ways that you may be selling yourself short in your job search and more importantly, some advice on how to turn it around:
1. You’re playing down your achievements
I know, admitting how amazing you are can be cringe worthy; but when it comes to your job search, it’s pretty much an essential requirement.
So forget (almost) everything you’ve heard about self-proclaimed greatness equalling arrogance, and accept that blowing your own trumpet is often the only way a recruiter will know you’re qualified – providing your stated achievements are relevant, honest and you don’t go overboard.
2. You’re using clichés
“I’m driven, hardworking and can work well on my own, as well as part of a team” – BLEURGH!! Stop it!!
Not only are clichés like these notoriously overused, they also don’t really say a lot about you. And let’s face it, if your CV is the 20th one that an employer has read today it’s most certainly not going to help you stand out from the crowd.
To really impress, figure out what makes you unique – and use it to demonstrate your abilities, backing each claim you make up with real-life examples.
3. Your CV is hard to digest
Not getting any interviews? Check your CV.
Reams of pages, poor structure and waffle are bug bares for any employer. Even if you’re the best person for the job, a poorly constructed CV could be affecting your chances of being considered. Presentation matters!
So before you send off your application, check that it follows a logical order, has a professional font, and includes bullet points where possible. Complex graphics, long paragraphs, and life stories should be avoided at all times.
4. You’re not proof reading your CV
Nothing negates your ‘strong attention to detail’ like a spelling mistake (and/or a severe confusion between their, they’re, and there) in your CV.
After all, if you can’t demonstrate your skills in your application – how will you do it in a job?
5. You’re not being yourself
Although exaggerating (or worse, lying) in a job application can be tempting – it’s never a good idea! You’ll always be found out.
In fact, even a tiny white lie can weave a tangled web when it comes to explaining yourself at an interview. For example, bragging about your fictional ‘advanced Excel skills” might seem like a harmless claim at the time…until you’re asked what Pivot Tables and VLOOKUP’s are used for, or worse, asked to create one as part of the interview process!
So to make sure you’re showing the best (and most genuine) parts of your abilities, focus on what you can do. And if your experience doesn’t match up perfectly, then consider your transferable skills or pursue some training!
To ensure your abilities aren’t disguised by bad grammar, always proof read your CV more than once. Asking a friend or family member to double check it is also a good way to spot mistakes you may have missed.
6. You’re not asserting yourself
Whether it’s maybe, um, possibly, perhaps, or worse – I don’t know – fillers like these will do nothing but compromise the validity of your statement. Instead, take a pause to think about what you’re going to say – and say it with confidence.
Practice verbalising your answers to questions that pose a challenge for you – things like “What are your weaknesses?” or “Why did you leave your last job?”
7. You’re not expanding on your answers
Knowing when to talk (and when to stop talking) at an interview can be difficult – especially if you’re not given clear indicators.
This can often result in cutting your answers short in the hope that it’ll stop you from rambling and/or boring the interviewer. But although oversharing can be a danger, that doesn’t mean you should hold back.
Now nobody likes a waffler, so the key to this is to expand on your most relevant skills and experiences in each answer you give.
8. You’re not backing up your abilities
Anyone can say they’re good at something, but only the best candidates can prove it.
Evidence is key – find examples of when you have demonstrated the skills required for the role. These can be from personal, social or work experiences.
Answer these questions in addition to things like tasks, duties, and impressive sounding adjectives, and you’ll be far more likely to go further in your application.
There you have it, 8 possible reasons why you may not be having any luck in your job search. Once you’ve addressed the above you’ll be in a much better position to land your dream role.
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