Home: Job Application Forms: Common Job Application Mistakes

4 Common Job Application Mistakes
And How To Avoid Them

Catherine, one of the website authors, was asked to review three sample employment application forms.

She found 4 common job application mistakes.

Here's the 4th:

Too formal language

Being too formal makes reading hard for any job interviewer, because they are forced to read in a way that's not natural to them. This immediately creates a negative feeling, something you'll want to avoid.

Again (quoting a real employment application form), why write:

"I am applying for the position of Technology Team Leader because I believe I possess the skills and attributes you are looking for and will be an invaluable addition to your team.

To begin with, I have excellent communication skills...."

When the following is much easier to read, more engaging and much more persuasive:

"I'm really excited by this opportunity to join your team.

Please take a few minutes to read my application, in which I've covered the points you mention in the advert. I hope you'll agree that my experience and skills make me an ideal candidate and I look forward to meeting you for an interview soon.

You mention that the ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, and I'm pleased to say I do...."

Here's another example from a real job application form:

"My own activities in this area have also furnished me with related skills; this is illustrated by my creation of a disaster recovery solution that, if faced with an inoperable operating system (OS), would resolve the problem. I developed an unattended Windows XP installation disk that with only simple key presses would completely re-install Windows XP, Support Tools and minor applications such as Adobe Acrobat Reader."

Catherine suggested this person write:

"Because of my involvement in this, I learned new skills which I was able to put into practice. Here's an example:

Restoring a failed operating system is a long, manual process. Using my new skills, I development an unattended Windows XP installation disk. This completely re-installs Windows XP, Support Tools and minor applications such as Adobe Acrobat Reader with only a few clicks of the mouse. It's a major improvement".

All 3 of the employment application forms we've mentioned here were greatly improved following Catherine's advice.

Here are the first 3 mistakes again if you missed them.

Read all 4 and you'll also know how to avoid common job application form errors!

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