How to ensure your application for a digital job is successful…

I’m always hoping the next job application I open will be ‘the one!’. The risk with that? I’m making my decision based entirely on the information presented to me in the CV or cover letter. Good digital marketing jobs are highly desirable so it’s important to get your application right. Below is a list of the top 10 mistakes Digital Marketers make in their job applications and how you can avoid making the same errors!

The top 10 mistakes to avoid making in job applications:
  1. Typos & Text Speak
  2. Mistaken Identity
  3. Wrong Job Title
  4. Blankety Blank
  5. No Attachment
  6. No Contact Details
  7. Repeat Applications
  8. Poorly Named Applications
  9. Spammy Applications
  10. Copy & Pasting

Whether it’s an online application or a cover note and CV, this is your opportunity to select the best, most relevant information to entice the recruiter into inviting you to interview. So it’s essential you get it right. 

First things first, when applying for digital jobs, it’s important to have a great CV. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a handy CV guide and free template for you! It’s worth investing a little extra time on this before making job applications, as a poorly written CV will let you down instantly.

The other thing which makes a real difference is your cover note/letter, or accompanying email. It’s easy for me to tell when a job seeker is serious about their job search or whether they’re scatter gunning, applying to lots of digital jobs hoping something will stick. If you’re serious, treat this like a project. Make sure each and every application is professional and write a succinct but personalised cover note with a brief overview as to why you want the job, work for the company and the reasons we should be considering you. Be direct and showcase why, out of all the applications we receive, you’re the right person for this digital marketing job and a perfect fit for the company. There is a time and a place for modesty and applying for digital jobs is neither that time or place!

What To Avoid…

There are many aspects in digital marketing job application process where it can go wrong. Where a hiring manager/recruiter can get turned off from your job application. Here are the most common mistakes we see job seekers making:

1. Typos & Text Speak

You might be making tens or even hundreds (hopefully not) of applications to digital jobs, but take the time to make each one of them accurate. There’s no bigger turnoff in an application than to see careless spelling or grammatical mistakes. As job searches are increasingly occurring on mobile, colloquial language and ‘text speak’  is being used in applications. A job application should be professional, whether it’s to a recruiter or directly to an employer. A (slightly) exaggerated example of this read something like this:

Alright?  I’m applying 4 the job I saw on ur FB. I think Iv gr8 skillz n am real hard working. Plz do consider me, CV is attached.  Speak l8rs.”

It’s an application for a Content job and on first impression, it certainly wasn’t inspiring me with confidence that they’ve got the skills. Remember even though you’re on your mobile, this is an application to progress your professional career. This dumbs-down your application and leaves a recruiter/employer questioning your abilities instead of making them want to read more and explore your experience. 

2. Mistaken Identity 

Having just said nothing devalues an application more than typos… this one is also up there! When making your application to a company which you ‘so desperately want to work for’, don’t put the wrong company name or hiring manager’s name on your application! It’s a huge turn-off.

3. Wrong Job Title

Applying for a specific vacancy? Don’t put the wrong job title on it as it’ll make my impression of your application nose-dive.

4. Blankety Blank

Emailing an un-introduced CV without Cover Letter won’t capture attention and make you stand out in a good way. It’s likely to leave the impression that you didn’t care enough to write anything. Admittedly some application processes don’t allow you to but if you can, do.

5. No Attachment

“Find attached my CV…” and then there is no CV. You’ll be surprised how often this happens. Less haste more speed is the moral of the story here. Admittedly, it is an easy mistake to make and we’ve all done it, but it does bring into question how you work and your attention to detail.

6. No Contact Details 

Despite the growing trend of doing everything online, speaking with people is still the conventional way to screen applicants and gauge whether they are right for a job. Would you believe that a remarkable number of CV’s don’t have correct or any contact details? Not a great start! Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be to contact you. An accurate mobile number and (professional sounding) email address is what is needed.

7. Repeated Applications 

There are some job seekers who either just don’t listen or just don’t care. On occasion, we’ve seen an individual apply more than 10 times to the same job despite being politely told their skills weren’t appropriate. It gives the impression this individual isn’t reading the details in job adverts or giving consideration to their applications. If an applicant is repeatedly applying for the wrong jobs, we will tell them and discuss how to either better present the applicable skills and experience or realign their thoughts and ambitions of the more appropriate career path. 

8. Attachment’s Saved Name Gives The Game Away

If you’ve gotten so far as to write a cover note and attach your CV, do check what the CV’s file name is saved as. We often get CV’s sent to us which still have the tracked changes or are saved under a name prescribed for another company or are just labelled ‘my cv’. Don’t fall at this hurdle, you were almost there, so double-check you’ve attached the right version labelled correctly!

9. Spammy Applications 

If you’re now treating your job search as a numbers game, speculatively sending the CV out to the entire world of digital jobs, be sure NOT to CC everyone you are sending it to. Have some respect for your contacts. If you need to bulk send your CV for some reason, at least have the courtesy of BCC’ing it.

10. Copy & Pasting

Last on the list, but one of the most important to avoid! Try to send unique cover letters for each job application. When an application’s cover note is effectively cut & paste from previous applications or, in some cases, the attached CV – why?! Sending the same information doesn’t gain your application anything. Why not take a moment and convey a poignant reason in your cover note why you should be selected for the specific role, rather than just copying and pasting, it will make you stand out for the good reasons.

A real-life example of a digital diamond:

I’ve seen some amazing applications. Where you know within a second that this individual is going to get the job. One creative person had the industry knowledge to know who the employer was, took the time to video himself outside their office and ‘pretended’ to experience what it would be like to be a hired employee of this company, at their office front door!

Some might think this a little odd, but he was applying for a creative role! Showcasing his own skills and experience in the video clip, his remarkable editing skills, storyboarding, campaign execution etc. He even accompanied it with an awesome cover note explaining why he was suitable for the job along with an industry-standard CV. a superb application for that type of job.

As you can imagine, he was invited to interview – which he had clearly prepared for, being well informed, articulate, presentable and most importantly, himself. He was just a lovely, gregarious professional, bringing with him bundles of enthusiasm, skills and experience. An awesome – if somewhat extreme – example of a truly great application.

Some extra nuggets of advice from our recruitment specialists:

It’s happening all too often now and we’re sure there are many factors which influence how an application is made. As specialists in the digital marketing industry, almost everything clockworkTalent does is online, making our office almost paperless. Our job board offers job seekers the ability to attach their CV’s.

Even though everything regarding the application process is online and practically instant, your applications should be professional and made with consideration. My advice is to slow it down. Think before you push enter/send.

Double-check what you’ve written, who it’s going to and what you’ve attached. Have you got the right name (if there is one), the right job reference (if there is one), the right version of your CV attached? Small details which can make the world of difference.

All too frequently the Digital Recruiters at clockworkTalent receive applications which just don’t make the grade. They don’t grab our attention and it isn’t glaringly obvious why the role has been applied for or even how they could be appropriate.

Of course, we do keep an open mind (in fact more than most as we know how hard it can be to write a great CV) envisaging ourselves in the job applicant’s shoes but we’re not here to delve into your history to try and dig until we uncover that tiny relevant detail which might have justified the application. Make it easy for an employer to see you’re good for a job. Tell us in your cover note, show us on your CV, highlight demonstrable experience which makes you right for the job!


If you need our help with finding the perfect digital job, please do reach out to us. You can use jobs@clockworktalent.com or go through our contact form… before you press send, don’t forget to double-check everything!