Job Searching? Stop Those Random Acts of Application (R.A.A.)!
It’s tempting, I know. See a job posting, apply. Rinse, repeat. Then hope that with all of that activity, someone contacts you. Here are some recommendations:
Don’t just apply when you see something posted or advertised. Copy the opportunity into your CTC Job Tracker and keep hunting for more opportunities. Searching for opportunities and applying for jobs are two different activities. It’s too easy to make mistakes when you try to multitask.
When you go to each job source, refer to your job search goals and identify the best job opportunities for you. To be sure the opportunity is the “best” for you, consider these three things:
Are you qualified? Do you have most of the skills that the job description asks for? Remember, nobody has all of the skills, so don’t worry if you have skill gaps. Your next job will be a great opportunity to learn something new.
What do you want? What day-to-day functions do you want to perform going forward? How do you want to spend 8 hours a day? What kind of work do you want to avoid?
Does the job meet your personal goals? For example, can you afford to relocate on your own, if needed? Don’t apply for something that you would have to decline – for any reason – if you get an offer.
Take the time to go to each search engine’s “How To” section and learn how to do great advanced job searches. It will save you time and help you find the right jobs for you. Many job-related websites offer “personal job agents” that can help automate your job search. Tell these agents (not real people) what type of job you’re looking for and then the agent will send you an email whenever something opens up in your field.
The quality of these so-called agents varies widely, with some sites offering little more than per-category RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication, an XML-based standard and format used to distribute frequently updated content), while others charge a bit of money and may even claim to have an actual human doing the work for you.
Don’t Make These Mistakes:
Mistake #1: Having a “squishy” goal in the first place, so your search results come back with way too many items; most of which are at the wrong level, requiring the wrong skills, located in the wrong geography, and more.
Mistake #2: R.A.A. or Random Acts of Application: You send off your résumé because you see the job posting right in front of you. You feel the urgency and can’t wait to get your fabulous credentials in their hands because you’re so PERFECT for this job! Will you have the discipline to just put it into your CTC Job Tracker and prepare to apply by doing some research and writing a cover letter?
Sit down, study job postings, and write a specific and succinct description of the positions you are looking for – your job search goal. Then your applications will no longer be random; they will be perfectly targeted!