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You’ve seen a job ad that’s right up your alley and you’re convinced you’re the right person for it. You set time aside to work on your resume and cover letter and you’re convinced the HR manager won’t be able to resist you. Then, nothing happens. Why are you not getting these jobs even though you have the relevant professional experience? It could be because of one of these reasons…

1. Your Resume Is Too Long

If you have less than five years of experience, your resume should be one page; two pages if you have worked longer. Don’t ever submit a resume that’s longer than that. If you don’t know what you should cut, start with any experience that isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

2. You’re Not Following Instructions

When you send in your application, make sure you follow the instructions given in the ad. Because, if you can’t even follow something that simple, it shows that you lack attention to detail and are unable to follow even simple tasks, so why should a company hire you? So, if the ad says the application requires a signature, for example, don’t ignore this and make sure you do it. 

3. You’ve Made Grammatical Errors 

We’re not being grammar nazis but this is a simple rule that you should follow, even if the job doesn’t require you to have perfect English. Spelling and grammatical errors look unprofessional on a job application so either get someone else to look through it or read it over and over again – out loud is best – until you’re satisfied. And don’t just rely on spell check either, as it won’t be able to spot the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, for example. 

4. You’re Not Highlighting Your Accomplishments

As a general rule, you should fit at least 70% of the job description before even thinking of applying for it. Then, you need to sell yourself in the application. Don’t just list your past job responsibilities, highlight your accomplishments instead. Anyone can do a job but you have to show that you can do it well. 

5. You’re Too Generic 

Tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job; never send the same ones for different jobs. And, in your cover letter, talk about what you can bring to the company. It shows that you have the skills that match the position – but don’t just copy and paste the job description from the ad, do it in more creative ways. 


Got the application down pat? Then check out these 6 tips to land that dream job