Don’t make these mistakes when applying for a job

You’ve spent all day pulling together a winning CV and Cover Letter, and now you’re ready to send it off.

But, before you do, check out our 9 common pitfalls and things to avoid, otherwise, you may find yourself in the reject pile before you even get started!

#1 – What’s in a name?

Shakespeare might have waxed lyrical about this, but to each individual, their name is quite important. Make sure, when sending an application, you get the addressees name correct.

Mrs Smith does not want to be referred to as Mr Smith, any more so than Jonathan wants to be called Jonathon.

While you’re at it, make sure you proof your CV and Cover Letter to make sure you have spelt references to the company, their services, or products correctly. Spell check might not automatically pick up on these, or worse, might autocorrect them!

#2 – Spell check!

It’s worth saying it again, SPELL CHECK all your documents. Don’t just rely on your spell checker to do all the hard work for you, make sure you give your CV and Cover Letter a proper read through to make sure everything is correct, you’ve used the right tense throughout, and it makes sense.

If you can, ask a friend or family member to read over it too.

#3 – Great application, wrong employer

If you’re sending out a lot of applications in one go, make sure you are sending the right CV and Cover Letter to the right employer. We’ve seen it before where someone has sent a CV for a PA role to the recruiter advertising for a Social Media Executive (a role they also wanted to apply for).

#4 – Get attached

It’s easily done, and at some point or other we’ve all either done it ourselves, or know of someone who has – but when you are saying “please find attached …” make sure you actually attach the mentioned document.

Failure to do so will either get your application ignored, or at best, will create a bad impression of someone who is not able to pay attention to detail.

#5 – Get your formatting right

These days people open documents in a whole host of different formats, and there are countless version of Word out there. Make sure you save your CV and Cover Letter attachments as simple .docs so anyone can open them.

Don’t spend a lot of time creating a stunningly formatted document, especially as on some computers, mobiles or laptops this will be distorted. If you have got a highly creative CV you are best off sending it as a PDF.

#6 – Don’t forget your name

You don’t need to write CV or Curriculum Vitae at the top of your CV, people know what it is, but you do need to make sure that your name is clearly legible. You want that to be remembered.

Also take a moment to make sure that all the relevant, and correct, contact details are included so you’re easy to get hold of when they phone you to request an interview.

#7 – Get a new email address

If you’re a fan of cutesy email addresses, now might be the time to set up a new one. MissFrillyKnickers@generic.email.com is unlikely to create the impression you’re looking for.

Equally, don’t be disrespectful to your current employer by sending your CV for a new role from your works address. Yes, you might be sending it out of hours, but it still doesn’t look great.

#8 – Once more for luck …

Go on, give it another spell check and read over.

#9 – Press send

Don’t spend all that time writing, checking, proofing and tweaking and then talk yourself out of applying. Once you are happy with your content and its delivery, press send.

Good luck!

 

Remember, here at Time Saving Heroes we offer CV and Cover Letter writing services, as well as full reviews of your current CV so you can make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Give us a call on 0161 883 2024, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just drop us an email to hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk

 

Three types of people you should avoid on LinkedIn

So far this week I have done one-to-one LinkedIn Orientation with five people. OK, so that’s just a fancy way of saying I spent two hours going over the basics with five separate people who signed up, created a profile and promptly lost their password. One of them hadn’t been back on since uploading their profile photo, and that was ten years ago.

This is probably my favourite part of the “training” I do with people – taking someone who admits they know nothing, or have preconceived ideas about what LinkedIn is, and getting them to embrace it. Admittedly it’s baby steps, going from “member” to “daily interactor” doesn’t happen overnight, but you get my point.

One thing that often comes up, certainly with people who have had their accounts for a while is connections. Often I hear things like “who is this person? I don’t know them” or “why do strangers keep asking me to connect?” Equally typical is the query “why add me and then never communicate?”

The simple truth is LinkedIn is full of people who aren’t using it properly, and unfortunately when you aren’t confident in what you’re doing, you can find yourself looking to these people as the “experts”.

Here’s my list of three types of LinkedIn users you should probably try to avoid if you want to attain LinkedIn zen.

#1 The Door to Door Salesperson

We have all received an invitation to connect with someone we don’t know, only to receive a generic sales pitch via InMail the second you accept them.

If you have accepted someone who does this, do yourself a favour now, and remove them as a contact. They are not interested in two-way dialogue and relationship building. They just want to knock on your door and sell you something, then they will move on.

Equally, if you are this person please, on behalf of everyone else on LinkedIn, I beg you to STOP! Here’s why.

 

# 2 The Social Police

Every so often I see comments, on other people’s posts, about the validity and appropriateness of what they’re sharing.

“This is LinkedIn, not Facebook”

“This sort of thing doesn’t belong here”

“LinkedIn is a professional network – be PROFESSIONAL”

You get my point.

The sort of posts that get these comments are either family or pet photos, memes, or jokes to name a few. Now, don’t get me wrong, when I see these things I do invariably roll my eyes because, in all honesty, LinkedIn is not the place for them. However, I refrain from commenting on such posts because I am not the police of social interactions.

What annoys me more than inappropriate posts are the comments from the self-appointed social police. Their opinion of what is or isn’t appropriate on LinkedIn is just that – their opinion. There is no handbook that says “Thou shalt not post a meme of a cat wearing a watermelon as a helmet”. There is no LinkedIn code of conduct in that sense. I am a firm believer that if you don’t like it, you just don’t interact with it; or maybe, you can remove the offender as a connection. Believe it or not, you do have those options.

Personally I recommend avoiding the social interaction police at all costs. It takes a certain type of person to comment publicly on someone else’s post in a manner that comes across as nothing short of rude, and in some cases bullying. Who, if they genuinely wanted to educate and help their fellow connections, would rather hit out, instead of send a private InMail along the lines of “Hi Bob, funny meme earlier; however, LinkedIn really isn’t the sort of place for that sort of thing. You’d probably get more interaction if you …”

But hey, that’s just my opinion.

# 3 The Ego

We have all seen them, the LinkedIn users who have a headline along the lines of “MOST VIEWED LINKEDIN USER” or “The Midas of sales: Everything I touch turns to sold!”

No, really, I’ve seen the latter. I’m still cringing now.

There is a really fine line between confidence, and an overwhelming smugness, and the people who go too far are really difficult to build relationships with on LinkedIn. Which is why I always avoid them.

It’s such a shame really as you can guarantee in a genuine networking environment they wouldn’t stand up and say “I am awesome, I am great, I am perfect”. Well, some might, but very few. In the real world they may exude confidence, but they are probably capable of having a two-way conversation.

Online they are just narcissistic and are predominantly interested in either the sale (see point 1) or collecting numbers. Don’t be one of their numbers.

 

 

These are just the people I will always avoid, you may agree – you may not. However, the key here is that you do have a choice who you interact with online, as you do anywhere else. Don’t feel you have to accept everyone, and don’t feel once you have accepted that you can’t back out again. Keep the connections you want so you can customise your own LinkedIn experience.

Why we are the perfect match for your business

Deciding to outsource any part of your business is a big decision. Hiring an accountant to do your books makes sense and probably won’t cause you much consternation (apart from when the invoice lands on your desk).

Equally, a HR Consultant is worth their weight in gold when it comes to ensuring staff are happy and not threatening you with a tribunal every five minutes.

But what about the other little tasks? The things that you genuinely think you can handle, or learn how to do adequately. As mentioned last week these little things can take up a lot of time, which ultimately costs you money because you’re not dedicating your attention to revenue generation. Outsourcing to a professional in that particular field could end up saving you money, not

No doubt you have sat down and meticulously worked out the benefits of getting someone else to do whatever task it is. It’s not a decision you take lightly, after all, you’ve spent a lot of time, money and energy building your business. It’s your baby. Or one of them. How do you know you can trust the person you are handing some of the reigns over to?

Finding the right person to collaborate with or rely on can be tricky, and it’s well worth doing some homework before you jump in to the first relationship that comes along.

Here at Time Saving Heroes we are good at what we do, we are well respected and people speak very highly of us. However, even we are realistic enough to know that we are not the right fit for everyone.

As a business owner or even an individual you will have certain things that are deal breakers. For some its cost, for others it’s response time, others value qualifications while some look for longevity and experience within the field. Only you know what is likely to tick your boxes and make someone the right proposition for you.

One thing I can say about Time Saving Heroes, other than our ability to do the job in the first place, is that we are approachable, and responsive. When a customer has a query or even a concern about what we are doing for them, their business or their brand, we react immediately. Such conversations don’t happen often, but when they do, we don’t hide from them. We want to tackle any difficulties you have with our service up front and honestly. You can always get hold of us and know that we will do what is needed.

As we are friendly and approachable, and we always keep lines of communication open with our clients, people waste no time in coming back to us with any problems they have. A particular approach on social media may not be working, it may be the wrong tone of voice, or the wrong vibe for your business. Picking up the phone, or having a face to face meeting can quickly put an end to any concerns, and will allow us to look at an alternative approach immediately.

We value every one of our customers, we know just how important your business is to you so we will respond to you immediately, or as close to immediately as possible. This is one thing we can guarantee at Time Saving Heroes – you will never be ignored or passed over for a bigger client.