Checklist Before Applying for a Job

The 4-Question Checklist Before Applying for a Job

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I know people who have applied to tens, if not hundreds, of job vacancies and never even got a chance for an interview. If you think about it, that is exactly what’s wrong; they applied carelessly and in bulk. Here’s a 4-question checklist to review before submitting your job application.

This spray-and-pray strategy is dangerous for two reasons:

  • Recruiters who see your CV applied for every vacancy on their site will deem you irresponsible and blacklist your job application. This means you will lose the chance of being accepted for a job that might have actually been a good fit for you.
  • It means that you are not bringing the best version of yourself; rather fishing for quantity instead of quality.

The job market has some fierce competition; thousands of students graduate each year and there are not enough vacancies for all of them. The game is the survival of the fittest and only the fittest.

Read these questions carefully and WRITE DOWN your answers ON PAPER.

1. Do I really WANT this job?

Yes, getting paid is important, but it comes AFTER you have done your job. Before submitting a job application, read the full job description very carefully. Landing a job that you won’t be happy doing is sometimes worse than being unemployed. Check if you CAN DO the job and if you WANT TO do the job. Job descriptions will also include details like travel and hard labor requirements, so make sure you’re comfortable with the terms.

2. Am I Qualified for this job?

Read the job requirements. Those are usually bullet points that detail the responsibilities of the job and the skills required to perform them. Keep in mind that other candidates are also applying, so you must at least meet 7 or 8 out of 10 requirements on average.

3. Will I enjoy working with this employer?

You might qualify for a vacancy, but make sure you research the reputation of a company if it’s not already on your whitelist. A job contract is a long-term commitment, so tread lightly. Check for online reviews of the company; angry employees use blogs, Youtube, and other social media channels to rant about the conditions.

4. Do I have connections inside the company?

If the three above points are confirmed for you, you’re safe to apply. Now, remember the competition from other candidates? Here’s where your network comes in play (more on that in the third point below). Check your network both online and offline for people who can fast-track your CV directly to the recruiter and vouch for you. This will dramatically increase your chances of landing the interview.

Start by searching for the hiring company on Linkedin; it will immediately show you if one of your contacts already works there. Also, use other social media platforms to get the message out there. Check with friends and family. The person you seek might be a friend of your friend. Favors are hard to return, so make sure you’re “spending” it wisely.

Done with the list?

Check our article on the reasons you’re unemployed and what to do about it.

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