I have never worked formally as an HR person but I have had the opportunity to be on several recruitment committees to know a thing or two about job applications and the interview process. You would think that in these times when one can get any information with the click of a button, everyone would be a pro at writing job applications but the fact that I have to rant about this subject goes to show how many people refuse to use their heads or in this case, their fingers.

Below are errors that automatically disqualify you for a position in my books:

  1. Writing ‘Am’ instead of I’m: It’s amazing how many people cannot differentiate between these two. That aside, “I’m” should not even appear in a job application. It should be “I am”.

  2. Using different font types and sizes: I don’t understand why people do this. It’s never ok to use different font types in a cv. It might be ok to use different font sizes but only when there is some kind of order to the use. Let me explain further with an illustration:
    Illustration A is permissible but B is an absolute no-no! In my honest opinion, it’s better to have the contents of a cv in the same font size and put the words you want to standout in BOLD. It’s a lot cleaner that way.

  3. Forwarding an application: It’s the height of insanity to forward an application that was sent to another company to a new company with an open position. It’s not that hard to compose a new email and copy paste the information from the old email.

  4. Tomfoolery: There’s no better way to describe the behavior of someone who is looking to be employed but lacks the sense to compose a new mail to each company the person is interested in working with. How can someone send one email to 10 different companies, asking to be employed? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

  5. Sending a cv without an application letter or cover letter: It’s alarming that an educated person would send in a cv for an open position without an application letter. No employer has time to figure out what position, especially if there is more than one, you are applying for by going through your cv.

  6. Applying for “any available position”: It just doesn’t make sense that one would go through the effort of updating ones cv and writing an application letter, only to apply for “any available position”. If your expertise lies in various fields, state the positions you can work in clearly in your application letter. You cannot work in a position if you do not have the necessary knowledge or expertise so why set yourself up for rejection with an application that will end in the trash.

  7. Using words that you cannot spell or have no idea what they mean: I have no idea why people like to make simple situations complex. If you have no idea what a word means, leave it out of your vocabulary or go the extra mile and learn what it means. A friend once shared with me a comment he saw on facebook where the commenter wrote “olaballoon” instead of “hullabaloo”. It’s ludicrous.

  8. Not following instructions: There is no excuse under the sun for not following the instructions stated in an advertised open position. It’s like making a cup of tea and forgetting to put a teabag in the cup, all you’ll have is hot water.

  9. Unprofessionalism: “attached is my cv, I pray you look at it and call me for an interview” – this is an excerpt from an email I received just last week. I didn’t even bother to look at the cv. I have nothing against the beliefs of any individual but that is exactly what it is, an individual thing so keep it out of formal correspondence.

  10. Not giving direct contact details: I once had to call three different numbers to reach a young man for a telephone interview. His cv had the mobile number of his dad and his application letter had the number of someone else. When I was finally able to reach him with a number in the body of the email to which he attached his application letter and cv, he had the gall to inform me that he doesn’t take calls from unfamiliar numbers. I did not go further with the interview. He obviously was not ready to get a job.

I hope this helps someone. You can thank me later.


I must confess, I quite enjoy ranting and I seem to be getting my mojo back😄. Let the ranting continue 😜


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