Real Life

Looking For A Job? Don't Make This Classic Application Mistake

Landing the job of your dreams can be a demoralising process.

Rarely does it happen that - like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada - you simply waltz in and nail the gig (and anyway, that didn't work out so well for her character...).

More realistically, you'll spend months honing your CV, scouring job sites and firing off what seems like 32,000 laboriously-researched application letters.

Only to hear nothing in return. Zilch. Crickets.

While a fair dose of rejection is an inevitable part of finding a great role, there are a few simple things you can do to help elevate your cause - as the folks over at Career Girl Daily advise.

They've seen hundreds of applications in their time and say one sure-fire error to avoid is the inclusion of "me-focused" sentences in covering letters.

These are the kind of assertions that revolve around questions like "what can I get from the role?", and, "how will the company benefit me?"

They will conjure up statements such as "I've just graduated and am looking for xx" and "It's always been my dream to work for xx".

Lots of people fall back on these individual-centric phrases. It's easy to do; after all, we're looking for a job for ourselves, to progress our own careers.

But, says writer Charlotte Bailey at Career Girl Daily, this kind of approach will never make you stand out in the eyes of a potential employer.

Employers aren't interested in "me" sentences

"Employers don’t have time to think about how they’re going to impact you," Bailey explains. "Sure, they don’t want you to be unhappy, but they’re looking to solve a problem by hiring someone who will excel in the role. How you are going to impact them is the question on the table."

She uses the example of Nina Mufleh, an applicant who created a unique resume that echoed the design of Airbnb's website, to land her ideal job with the eponymous travel firm.

Instead of listing her qualifications and experience - information Airbnb could easily access on her LinkedIn profile - Mufleh did her homework. She wrote out a diligently researched summary of what she could contribute to the company, and presented areas she felt Airbnb could expand into next.

Mufleh had tried contacting Airbnb for months before she tried this more unorthodox tactic; and her unusual business-focused strategy paid off.

Bailey says other people can emanate Mufleh's success, by researching the company they want to apply to in depth, to find out about their core values and future projects.

Then, frame your application in a way that specifically explains how you can contribute to help them achieve their goals.

By twisting the focus from me to them, your application will carry immediate impact and is far more likely to stand out from the crowd.

Roll on, rosy career prospects...

Read More: The Robots Are Coming - How To Droid-Proof Your Job

Read More: What Inspires The World's Most Accomplished Women

Grazia magazine cover