1. The way you addressed your cover letter
You don't need us to tell you that it's soo HARD to find a job these days. The few jobs that are going at the moment are insanely over applied for, and the recruiting manager will receive hundreds of applications for just one position. Any cover letter that's addressed to Sir/Madam or, even worse, "To whom it may concern" is not starting off on the right foot. Research online and call the company to find out exactly who you're applying to. This extra step can make a huge difference, DO IT!
2. You didn't sell yourself
The job that you're applying for exists because the company needs an extra resource to help them deliver their goals, not because they know it would look good on your CV. Don't waste time telling a prospective employer what a great opportunity this is for you. Instead, tell them specifically how you can benefit them. What skills and experience do you have that could apply? What do you have that the company is lacking at the moment?
3. You sent a generic CV to ALL the companies you applied for.
Your CV should be tailored specifically to each job you're applying for, not just batch distributed to every employer. Someone once told me to imagine you were up for the job against someone you hated, and were arguing over why you should get it instead of them. What would you say first to sell yourself? Whatever points, experience or successes you go to should be at the top of your CV so the recruiter can see them first. If you haven't had tons of relevant experience, you have to include other skills in your resume. Can you manage people? Prioritize well? Have you worked in a team or been a self starter and left to your own devices? Stuff that may not seem obviously related at first can often be applied if you think about using it in a different context.
4. You seemed entitled
While point 2 here is so, so important, you can honestly never be too enthusiastic for a job. If you seem like you're expecting to be given Beyonce treatment straight away rather than put in the hard work on the job because you WANT IT SO MUCH, hold on! Doing the groundwork isn't what everyone dreamed of doing when they were growing up, but everyone has to do it at some point.
5. You abandoned Google
Thorough research of a company is a real turn-on when reading a cover letter. Being up to speed on what the business is doing shows you're interested in the direction it's taking, and what to be a part of it. Even if it's noting a recent hire or mentioning an article written about the business, it'll help.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan UK. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.