The common job application mistakes you're making


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Looking for a new job can be hard work.

You might be tempted to send out as many applications as possible just to try to score an interview but this technique isn't likely to get you very far.

"There are great job search strategies and then there's the scatter-gun approach," says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

job application mistakes

"We fill 1000 jobs every working day and see a lot of focused, winning job search strategies. But we also see jobseekers who frantically send off their CV whenever they can spare a minute to any role that looks vaguely suitable."

Deligiannis says it pays to spend some time to put together a job search strategy that allows you to apply for the right roles in the time that you have.

The first step is to think about what you really want in a new role and identify your must-haves. A major factor to consider is your career plan. Ask yourself what type of role and organisation would help you work towards your wider career goal.

"For instance, if you would eventually like to move into a senior people management role but need to work on your leadership skills, look for a role that provides you with basic leadership responsibilities outside your comfort zone, where there is room for progression and where a mentor could support your development," says Deligiannis.

Hays also recommends you think about which industries interest you, your personal priorities such as whether you want flexible working hours or a work-from-home option and, of course, practical considerations such as what you need in terms of salary, rewards, location and commute.

Once you have a vision in mind of what you are looking for in a job, then Hays recommends the following steps to plan your job search.

Keep on top of opportunities

Now that you know which type of organisations you are most interested in, follow them on social media and review their career sites.

Keep an eye out for updates about vacancies, and set up job alerts on recruitment websites.

Save your CV across all of your electronic devices (except work ones)

In doing this, you will be ready to apply as and when jobs crop up, wherever you are, whichever device you are using.

Be organised

Take note of all jobs applied for, what stage you're at with each one and the name of relevant contacts. Add any meetings or interviews to your calendar and take notes.

Refer to these before you make any follow-up calls or emails.

This can be very useful if you have multiple opportunities in the pipeline and you need to keep track of who you're speaking to, about what and when.

The support of a recruiter

An expert recruiter will help find the right roles for you, and put you forward for them.

This can save a lot of time and they can introduce you to roles that may not reach the open market. Save your recruiter's details on your phone and keep it close by.

Don't lose hope

It is important that you keep your spirits high during your job search, even if you don't get an interview for a role that you really wanted.

Not every application leads to success but don't give up. It can help to talk about your next move and your search progress with mentors, friends and family.

You should also take regular breaks and reward yourself for a productive job searching session. The key is to stay motivated.

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Maria Bekiaris is editorial campaigns manager for Canstar and former deputy editor of Money. She holds a Bachelor's degree in business.