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Job Applications

“There is a distinct difference between being proactive, and coming across as desperate. Have you crossed this line?”

I sometimes sense extreme anxiety in the job seeking population and, whilst I completely understand the difficult marketplace and challenges jobseekers face when looking for work, I would ask if your job application approach is yielding results?

If you’ve been unemployed for a while, you may be feeling discouraged and angry, and this may come across on your job applications.  Negative applications are a major “turnoff” for most employers. 

So, if you have the tendency to do any of the following:

  • Apply for jobs that you are not experienced, nor qualified, to carry out
  • Apply multiple times to the same job and/or organisation
  • Use negative or cynical language in your Covering Letter
  • Unashamedly promote yourself
  • Follow-up overkill
  • Illogical rambling at interview

Then, try to reflect on your behaviour and make some small changes now for future applications.

Please do not get disheartened with poor job application results, take action and do a health check on your approach, to see if you can revitalise your personal brand. See some useful tips below:

  • Apply for jobs of relevance to your background and skill set only. This will save you getting unnecessary rejections letters from jobs you KNEW you were not eligible for, thus keeping your spirits up.
  • When you do find a job posting of interest to you, read the details thoroughly and, if eligible, apply through the channels requested only once. Please note the name of the hiring manager/consultant, and their contact details for later use.
  • If you are feeling pessimistic and have little hope in securing a job, this vibe will come across in your language and presentation. No employer likes negativity, it’s important to keep positive.
  • Rather than blatantly promote yourself, please try to articulate how you can add value to their business in a modest, yet confident, manner.
  • If you have not heard from the hiring manager/recruitment consultant in three days, do not stalk them.  After day three, it is advisable to pick up the phone and speak to the company contact, explaining you are following up on a recent application and wondered if they’ve had a chance to review it, and should they have any queries to call you.
  • If you are invited to an interview; do not blow it. Practice makes perfect, rehearse scenarios and behavioural questions ahead of your interview. This is easily done by understanding the core competencies explored at interview. Please LISTEN carefully to questions posed and only answer what is asked of you, do not go off point.


If you are applying for a job through a reputable agency, your consultant will coach you on building an effective CV, preparing for competency based interview questions and how to present a strong personal brand – all free of charge!


I hope you find this blog useful and, if you take some of my suggestions on board, that you’ll find doors are opening, rather than closing, on new job opportunities.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Bye for now,



Catriona Kelly Bbs, Dip. Marketing, NRF CertRP | Executive Principal | Cpl Healthcare

catriona.kelly@cplhealthcare.com | +353 91 507510 Phone | 0844 232 0714 (UK)


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