If you have ever been job hunting, you know how frustrating the application process can be. You spend hours looking for positions and writing customized applications to impress the recruiters and hiring managers. You dedicate all that time and get your hopes up only to receive an automated “thank you, but no thank you” email or, in many cases, no response at all. You feel disappointed because you were so sure that you were the right person for that job.
But has it ever occurred to you that maybe it was the job that was not the right fit for you? Hiring is always a two-way process, just like the company evaluates your application, you should also evaluate if the job is the right fit for you. If it is not, you are not going to be happy or do your best work. Here are five steps to help you be more selective so that you don’t waste your time on jobs that are not the right fit for you.
1. Analyze the Responsibilities
Do the daily responsibilities listed in the job ad really reflect what you would like to be doing on a daily basis? Don’t just focus on the fancy title, if you want to be in a management role you truly have to enjoy leading people and be ready to work with ambiguity, take responsibility for others, and make difficult decisions. Also, some companies use cool, misleading titles for certain jobs just to attract candidates. For example, Customer Success Executive could mean Customer Service Representative. If this not what you want to do, applying for the job will make both, you and the company, to lose time.
2. Consider the Requirements
Do you have the skills and other qualifications that are needed in order to succeed in the job? If the role description sounds like the perfect job but you don’t meet the minimum requirements, don’t apply yet. Instead, focus on gaining those skills first in order to be able to apply for similar opportunities in the future. That being said, keep in mind that there are probably going to be zero candidates who meet exactly all of the requirements listed in the job advertisement. If you have 5 years of relevant experience in the industry and the ad calls for 7, you might still apply. However, when the company is looking for someone with 15 years of experience, the position is probably too senior for you.
3. Keep Your Goals In Mind
Does the job align with your career goals? Most of the time, we need to take smaller steps in order to reach our long-term career goals. If the job is not something that you want to do for several years, but it will still take you to the right direction by offering you growth opportunities inside the company or within the industry, it can still be the right fit for you. However, when the job is not taking you closer to your goals, it is probably not worth spending your time on that opportunity.
4. Check The Spelling and Formatting of the Job Ad
In addition to the content of the job posting, also focus on how it is written. This will give you insight into how the company actually works and treats their employees. A job ad that is filled with spelling and grammar mistakes, different fonts and font sizes, or otherwise is formatted poorly, obviously doesn’t speak very highly of the company. If these are the standards they have for their work, you probably shouldn’t bring your talent to this kind of a company. Also, if they didn’t take the time to proofread a job advertisement, what are the chances that they will dedicate any more time to you when you are an employee?
5. Research the Company
Finally, if the job posting seems like a good fit, do further research on the company before applying. Google them, check out their website and social media accounts, and read reviews on their Glassdoor page. You can also find out through LinkedIn if you are connected to any of their current or previous employees and reach out to them directly for deeper insight into the company. This research will help you to find out more about the company culture and determine whether it could be a good fit for you or not. It will also help you find out if the job description was telling you the truth. For example, if the job description listed professional development opportunities as one of the perks they offer but you find out on the company’s Glassdoor page that employees tend to leave due to the lack of growth opportunities, you may want to be careful with that company.
Job hunting can be a long process, but applying for the right jobs will help you use your time better. Do you have any other tips for job seekers?