6 Common mistakes made by job seekers

In Success

Are you wondering why you have made many job applications and you have not been shortlisted for any interview? We see a lot of talented job seekers who give the wrong impression to potential employers as they apply for a job.  Below are some mistakes you could be making as you job hunt.

You have put-off the potential employer with your email address

You send in a job application from an unprofessional email address. Or in your CV you list an email address that sounds like a showbiz company.  Your job application is from this email address: bootiliousmakmende@email.com or sweetie1984@gmail.com.

Which employer will take you seriously if you use these email addresses?

Tip: Employers may look at the personal email address used by the applicant. So be professional.  The easiest way to fix this is to come up with an official email address preferably with your full names.

Mistake #2: Poor writing email etiquette on applications

“The texting and tweeting culture has affected your writing skills to an extent that you send a formal email with a maximum of 140 characters. In your email, you do not capitalize the first letter in a sentence and you do not use full stops. You do not put spaces between paragraphs. And your salutations are casual.”

If the above statement describes you, then please do not expect to be shortlisted for a job interview.  Take a course on email writing etiquette urgently before sending the next job application.

This is wrong


i hope you r gud

see attached


This is professional & acceptable

Dear Sir/Madam

I hope this email finds you well. On this email, I am attaching my application letter and CV for the position of an accountant for your review.

Kind regards,

John Smith

Annoying typos and grammar errors

If your job application has grammatical errors, then you come across as being careless and lacking attention to detail.  You desparetatly wanta jobbut yu have no tim to spelchek yur apliccaton? (I hope you now get the point!)

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Avoid making spelling and grammatical errors in your job application. Go through your document carefully and ensure no spelling mistakes. Thanks to technology you can now use spell checker on your laptop.  In addition to the spell checker, read your application aloud – you will be surprised how many errors you will pick out.

You are serial job seeker a.k.a a rolling stone

The proverb “A rolling stone gathers no moss” in the job hunting context refers people who are always moving, with no roots in one place, they avoid responsibilities and do not care about the employer.

If you are changing jobs too often, then you are a rolling stone that no employer is keen to hire. Recruitment and staff training is expensive and a serial job seeker is to be avoided at all costs.

The best career growth strategy is to remain on a job long enough – at least 3 years.  If you are already a rolling stone, then avoid listing jobs in your resume that you lasted for less than 3 months since it gives a wrong impression about you.

You are a child in a candy store

Like a child, you are excited and trying to grab every candy stick available from the shop.  You cannot make a choice between the blue, green, red, yellow, brown, pink, purple candy.  You want to grab all of them for yourself.

Similarly, a company advertises more than one post and you apply for two of them at the same time with the belief that you are increasing your chances of employment with the organization.  Unfortunately, by doing this, you create an impression that you do not really know what your strengths are nor your key competencies.

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Choices have consequences. Do not gamble with job applications. Be focused. Be specific. If there are two jobs that you feel you are qualified for, choose wisely – apply for one job that you are most qualified to do or you are most passionate about.

Your job application email attachment that is 10MB – seriously?

You send your application via email and your file attachments are 10MB in size.  You attach your CV, application letter and copies of all your certificates from nursery school to master’s degree qualifications and other documents that were not stipulated in the job advert.  This definitely creates the wrong impression and could affect your chances of being shortlisted.

Avoid sending file attachments that are larger than 2MB. Converting to pdf or zip helps reduce your file attachment in size. The most important attachment is your CV. If the employer wishes to review other documents, they will ask for them.

Maggie Ireri is the Director – Frontiers Sports EA, TIFA Research Ltd, Chairperson of Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK)


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