Been getting no response to your on-line applications or resume drop offs? Wondering why employers aren’t beating down your door to call you in for an interview or offer you a job? Well that could be a number of things, but please, please, please make sure at the outset that you aren’t applying for the wrong jobs.
So what exactly are the wrong jobs? These would be the jobs that you quite frankly aren’t qualified to do. Don’t waste your time trying to convince an employer, (and perhaps yourself) that you have the necessary qualifications to do something you can’t. And the second kind of wrong job is one you can actually perform, but will be regretting every single day should you actually get it. Life is too short.
Okay, so first of all you may have what it takes to do a job that’s been advertised. You read over the job description or the job posting and say to yourself, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I could do this job!” However, maybe in your enthusiasm to do the job you just take one of your resumes and change the job objective and fire it off. After all, you’ll sell yourself in the interview right? Uh, you won’t even be getting an interview. Why? Because on the paper you just so confidently fired off, you aren’t the best candidate and won’t get asked in. No interview; no sales job.
I don’t know how many times people need to hear it, but there are a massive number out there from what I’ve encountered both personally and professionally who still don’t understand that you need to tailor your resume to each and every job you apply to. That’s not a lot of work as most assume. It saves you time because you actually get interviews with a higher degree of frequency, and hence, less resumes are needed because you get offered jobs more if you actually land the interviews to start with.
Now I haven’t forgotten the other scenario; applying for a job that will fry your brain, cause you unwanted stress, or be so simple to do, you’ll loathe it from those first few days until the day you resign or get fired. So let’s say there’s you with your university degree in Oceanography. You graduated with all the hopes and dreams of someone bound for greatness. And the first job you apply to after the graduation party your friends threw for you is a Receptionist job. What are you doing?
Nothing wrong with a Receptionist position. Some of the nicest people I know are Receptionists, and they love their work and its a good fit for them. However, that skill set is quite different from what you learned in school. Weren’t you planning on putting those skills to use in that field of work? Bet mom and dad thought so when they paid for tuition! And again, a Receptionist position is one I’ve picked at random, and not in the least a slight against that profession. But it’s the wrong job for you because you may regret every moment of it when you compare and contrast it against the job you dreamed about and thought you’d get when you were sitting in school.
The key is to go after the jobs that will draw best on your skills, education, personal preference and interests.
Applying for the wrong job diverts your limited time and resources, not to mention energy, hopes and dreams away from what you might otherwise be doing that would bring you long-term happiness. This is backed up by several various survey’s I’ve learned of recently where people with jobs were interviewed and a high number of people said that their current job is not providing them with the fulfillment they had hoped, and the job they really want is something else. Yep, it’s the happiness factor.
So let’s say you take the time to track down the job that is a good fit for you; maybe the perfect fit. You can really see yourself doing this job and enjoying the idea of working at it. You can visualize yourself in the role because you’ve got training in the field, past education that prepares you well today, even the location and salary are good fits. Wow!
What is essential is to take your best shot at getting to the interview stage, then on to performing at your best in the interview so you leave nothing on the table. How to start? Research the company and really look at the job. Ensure your application follows the directions given, right down to the paper stock, font and paper size, the spelling and grammar are correct etc. This job application stage does take work, and you won’t put out as many applications as the woman standing at the photocopier running 50 copies.
Good advice is to initially apply for jobs as close to your ideal job as possible. Then gradually expand on that ideal job and apply for jobs closely related to it. This approach differs from the buckshot approach where you’re applying for anything and everything out of desperation. The wisest thing for anyone in school is to start job searching…while in school. Do research on companies you could potentially work with, network and meet people in companies you come in contact with. Then when you graduate, you just might transition into a job faster.