What not to do when applying for a job!


It can be challenging for young people to get to first base when looking for work. There is a fair bit of information you can search to help you with tips on what you should do when applying for a job. But equally important, here are 7 tips on what not to do!

  1. Don’t lie on your resume

You may be tempted to provide false information in your resume hoping to have a better chance of getting the job. But the thing is, employers can easily identify if you are telling the truth when conducting the interview, through reference checks or background checks. Your resume should reflect who you are, your education, qualification, and experience.  Don’t include information about yourself which is simply not true or falsify jobs, experience or qualifications. Employers always respect honesty.

  1. Don’t submit your resume without a cover letter

It’s a highly competitive job market and you need to do your best to stand out from your competitors applying for the same job. The cover letter gives you the opportunity to highlight your unique qualities, skills, competencies and why you believe you are the best person for the job.  The key is to read the job ad thoroughly, tailor your letter to the job you are applying for and allow your personality to shine through.

  1. Don’t go sending your resume out there to any job vacancies

Do your research and be strategic when applying for a job. Target the job opportunities, business or industry which appeals to you. You will have much more success of applying for jobs that interests you, where you can demonstrate your passion, excitement and show how you can help the business. Take the time to read the job ad thoroughly and go to the effort to submit a cover letter and resume tailored specifically to the job you’re applying for. It’s not about the quantity and simply throwing your resume out there. It’s the quality that counts. Employers can tell when a generic resume/cover letter has been submitted and if they have a choice to choose from for an interview, they will go with the application that demonstrates the candidate really wants to work there.

  1. Don’t have spelling mistakes

Ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in your application. Use spell-check and it’s also a good idea to have someone else proof-read your resume and cover letter. It doesn’t hurt having a fresh pair of eyes read over your application!

  1. Don’t forget to update your resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? Ensure the dates on your resume is current with start and end dates of previous employment, training, and education. Include details of your previous job i.e. key duties and responsibilities. Don’t forget to include any past accomplishments and achievements whether it be at work, sport or school etc. There are plenty of free resume templates you can download to help you create a professional and easy to read resume.

  1. Don’t go to the job interview unprepared 

The key to a successful interview is preparation! There are a number of things you can do to prepare for your interview.

  • Firstly, ensure you do your research and find out as much as you can about the company. This will help you when answering questions and create points of discussion. It also shows your potential employer that you are very keen by taking the time and effort to learn more about them.
  • Rehearse what you will say. Think about the questions you may be asked and practice your response. You want to speak confidently about yourself.
  • Have questions ready to ask that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Although don’t bring up remuneration in your first interview, unless the employer brings it up with you.
  • Ensure you dress appropriately for the interview, even if the interview is conducted via video conferencing. First impressions count.
  • And if it is conducted via video format, ensure you check your technology before the interview to ensure it all runs smoothly and if possible, in an area where you won’t get interrupted.
  1. Don’t forget to tell the referee about the job/s you’re applying for

Ensure you have your references lined up and ready to go. If it’s been a while since you have spoken with the person providing a reference, make sure to let them know that you have applied for a job and they can expect a phone call. This way they are prepared and ready to give you a reference. Also be sure to let them know of the outcome and to thank them for their support!

The Keyba Careers Team are very passionate about helping young people secure a job of their choice. So much so that they have developed an online crash-course with tips and advice to help young people get the job of their dreams. If you want help to better upskill yourself to land that job of your choice, contact us or download our FREE Lesson of the Employer Engagement (EEP) to be Job Ready!

We are here to help and if you need support or assistance, please contact us at Keyba Careers on 1300 4 ADVICE