Job seekers often become increasingly disheartened at not gaining interviews when they are applying for a stack of positions every week – which ultimately impacts on their self-esteem. Unfortunately, this is regularly due to the fact that they are applying for jobs that don’t match their experience and skill set.
More than half of all applications I screen are quickly discarded because the candidate is not even remotely aligned with the requirements of the role:
• Level 2 IT Help Desk……no IT experience what so ever
• Optical Dispenser/ Retail position asking for a minimum of 2-3 years retail experience……Hairdresser
• Architectural Drafter……Mechanical Drafter
It is clear that many job seekers either don’t bother to read the advertisement and consider the position details before they apply……or believe in miracles, fairies and unicorns.
Taking a “scatter gun” approach of applying for as many jobs as you can is simply a waste of your time!!!
Take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of the business owner or hiring manager………they are looking for someone who most closely meets the requirements of the job…..has similar experience…..will fit in with their work culture…..and is within the salary range that they have budgeted for……ie they’re going to take the person who is most likely to hit the ground running and stick around.
So here’s my tips on how to identifying the jobs you should be applying:
1. Be realistic about your expertise and what you bring to a role.
2. Read the advertisement properly.
3. Consider whether your expertise matches closely with what is described in the advertisement.
4. Consider the Salary against your expectations.
5. Consider the location of the job against your commute to get there.
Major don’ts……..don’t waste your time:
1. If you don’t have the experience and/or qualifications asked for in the advertisement…..then don’t apply. The requirements of the position are based on the operational needs of the business…..they’re not going to change just for you.
2. I like to put the salary range being offered in my advertisement where ever possible – this is so job seekers can consider it against their expectations before they decide to apply. If it isn’t in the advertisement (as I know many employers don’t include it), then it is included in the back end of Seek – so use your preferred salary range as a “search criteria” so you only review jobs that match your salary expectations……….an employer isn’t going to offer you an additional $10K because you’re wonderful – they have budgets and have already done their research etc.
3. If your commute to work is going to take an hour or longer…..you need to question if the job is for you. People tell me ALL the time, that they don’t mind a long commute and sitting in peak hour traffic……but the facts are that after approximately 9 months of commuting for an hour or more, people get tired of it…..they sit back and consider how much of their day is being lost – as well as the cost of fuel etc…..and then start to keep an eye out for a job closer to home. Employers know this and have been “burnt” by it before……it actually costs a significant amount of money to train someone up…..they don’t want to be back to square one in only 12 months……so it is likely that they won’t even read your application.
4. SEEK and other job boards make it sooooooo easy to just click on “Apply” and off goes your application…..Don’t fall into that trap…..focus on Quality rather than Quantity.