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The five biggest mistakes in a job application

14/09/2021 2021/09

These tips will help you to avoid mistakes in your application

The application is always the first step towards a dream job. It is also the first point of contact with your new employer. But the pressure of competition is high, as well as the demands of the companies on the applicants. Besides innumerable information circulates in addition in the Internet, which make it increasingly difficult to differentiate between helpfully and useless. HR managers and potential bosses expect cover letters and CVs to be flawless - and preferably complete - because only those who are convinced by the application have a chance of getting the job they are looking for! But what are the biggest mistakes that applicants can make in their written documents? We will inform you about the five biggest application errors!

1. 0815 – Standard cover letter

In most cases, a cover letter or a letter of motivation is included in the application in addition to the curriculum vitae. In this letter, the applicant should present his or her advantages on a maximum of one page and show why exactly he or she is the best candidate for the vacancy. Unfortunately many job seekers do not take this chance to present themselves in an appealing way and take it to easy. Often standard letters or even unchanged templates from the Internet end up on the desk of the human resources manager - without reference to the position and with far too less input about the applicant's career path. This is not the purpose of a covering letter: It is of course a matter of establishing a reference to the advertisement and the position: What exactly qualifies this applicant to be able to complete the requested activity perfectly? For this purpose, the cover letter should emphasize highlights from the previous professional career that match the job description. The alternative term "letter of motivation" makes this even clearer. An experienced personnel manager will immediately notice if the applicant has used standard phrases - and will put this application directly in the wastepaper basket.

The same applies to the link to the company: The cover letter should include not only the position but also a brief description of the company to which the application is addressed. It is important that the reader recognises that the applicant has been involved with the potential employer and that it is not a mass application that has been sent out to dozens of different companies. Every company wants employees who have dealt with the history and the guidelines. This includes not only a look at the homepage, but perhaps also the development, essential customers and press coverage. What changes and successes are there? What distinguishes the company? Where is the journey going? Why does the applicant want to start a new career there?

2. Exaggerated Self-Portrayal

The application is the first contact to the potential new employer, of course applicants want to put themselves in the best perspective. But don't be overly positive. This usually has the effect that you appear unsympathetic and your credibility disappears. Instead, refer to your personal strengths and substantiate them with concrete examples.

3. The Curriculum Vitae is not informative

The CV should definitely be more than just a series of jobs and internships. Instead of just listing the stations in the CV, the most relevant tasks of this position should be set out in tabular form and in reverse order, starting with the most recent experiences. This gives the HR manager a quick and brief overview of what you have already done and what you are already familiar with. As far as the indication of hobbies, interests and honorary posts is concerned, these should only be included if they also have an added value for the application. Insignificant lists of all leisure activities are not appropriate here.

4. A bad application photo

The application photo is no longer a must-have in Germany! However, it can only be harmful if it has not been done professionally and you have not been put in the perfect light. In addition to the picture detail and good quality, which fall within the photographer's scope of control, you can also contribute with a suitable outfit as well as natural make-up and discreet jewellery to the fact that your photo will positively attract the attention of the HR manager.

5. Spelling or Grammar Mistakes

Spelling and grammar mistakes are a no-go in any application. The application is always a figurehead for the job seeker, in which time and effort should be invested. If there are mistakes in such an important document, it says a lot about the applicant's way of working and attentiveness. Typos or careless mistakes can happen: this may happen. But - before sending the application - you should proofread it by yourself and in the best case by a third party. Friends or family members, for example, are a good choice. In this context, you should also make sure that you send your application to the right contact person. The correct spelling is also required here.


The application often opens the door to a job interview and thus possibly to a dream job. Even the smallest mistake can be decisive here, because the competition is usually big and the demands of the companies are high. The above mentioned mistakes can be easily avoided by careful preparation and conscientious preparation of the documents! As a result, not only the company benefits from a professional application, but also the applicant himself and there is nothing in the way to get the dream job. In our job exchange you will find many exciting jobs you can apply directly online. If you can't find the right job for you, you can also convince us with an unsolicited application. We look forward to receiving your documents!

Sources:  karrierebibel.de

About the Author
Robin Seifert
Junior Account Manager

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