Writing a good application is an interpersonal art form. One should shine but not show off; appear modest but confident; praise the job as a dream job without slipping – not to mention the perfect application photo. If it is really about the dream job, the pressure to shine with the documents is immense. Too often, however, the basics already fail, as a survey shows. The result: the application immediately ends up in the trash.
Applications are scanned
The US job exchange Careerbuilder wanted to know what mistakes those responsible immediately lead to the sorting out of an application. In the summer of 2018, the Harris Poll polling institute surveyed more than 1,100 recruitment experts nationwide, such as hiring managers. The result should not be a consolation for future applicants. Because 23 percent of the respondents stated that they spent less than 30 seconds on each application.
Either this short period of time is enough for the experts to get a first impression of the candidates. Or the application contains such obvious mistakes that it is not worthwhile for the decision-makers to continue reading. Because their time is precious. In addition, most are hardly willing to give a second chance. HR managers simply have to put up with too many demands. The survey also showed that three out of four of the respondents have caught applicants lying. Some applications were simply outrageous – for example, those of the supermarket assistant who applied for a doctor’s job. Or the application that consisted of just one sentence.
The basics have to be right
But even top qualifications for the dream job will probably not help much if the shape is not right. According to the survey, these were the most common application errors that immediately led to the sorting out:
- Spelling and grammatical errors: 77 percent
- Unprofessional email address: 35 percent
- No tangible information: 34 percent
- Long paragraphs: 25 percent
- Formula application, not tailored to the company: 18 percent
- Longer than two pages: 17 percent
- No cover letter: 10 percent