How to Stand Out: Biggest Mistakes


How to Stand Out: Biggest Mistakes
Last week in How to Stand Out as a Job Seeker, we looked at how you can make LinkedIn work for you. Up until now, we’ve been focusing on positives; now it’s time to take a look at the negatives - things you do that make you stand out for the wrong reasons.

How to Stand Out: Biggest Mistakes

When you’re applying for a job you want to stand out from the crowd, but what you don’t want is to stand out for the wrong reasons. While your friends may appreciate politically incorrect jokes, for example, they definitely won’t help your case when you’re sitting in the interview. The entire point of a job application is to sell yourself to potential employers. This means that you need to make yourself an attractive option for them.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the biggest mistakes job seekers make.

Generic Cover Letter & CV
We’ve written before about how to really nail your cover letter and CV, as have many other people. But despite all the articles out there dedicated to helping job seekers get these first steps in the application process right, they still get it wrong. You cannot send the same cover letter and CV to all your job applications - you have to tailor at least the cover letter to the company and position.

Bad Interview Skills
When going in for an interview, don’t get too comfortable. Don’t assume that you’re on a first name basis with the interviewer; keep it formal and polite. That means don’t crack jokes every 2 seconds and don’t slouch in your seat. But at the same time, project confidence. Don’t fidget with something on the desk or fold your arms. And definitely definitely do not text during the interview.

Dressing Inappropriately
You may feel that dress codes, be it in the workplace or schools, are outdated. And they probably are, to an extent. But that doesn’t mean your potential employers will agree with you on that. That means don’t go to your interview in your casual day clothes, or come in the clothes you went out in last night. Definitely don’t arrive in your jogging clothes so you can go for a run afterwards.

Being Weird
Some mistakes are just too strange to categorise. Here are a couple of things you certainly should not ever do:

  • Use your embarrassing email address. No one is going to hire [email protected]. Ever
  • Send in your CV and cover letter in Klingon. You know, the language from Star Trek? Just don’t
  • Accidentally attach a naked picture of yourself to your application
  • Send someone to the interview in your place

Just don’t do any of these things and you should be fine!

There you have it: the biggest mistakes job seekers make. Now that you know what they are, you can make sure that your application stands out for the right reasons.