Options are not a bad thing. A plethora of opportunities is desired by everyone because it’s much to land a job position when the options are limited and the competition is stiff. However, job seekers need to be careful about which jobs to target. There are some jobs that are worth your time and some that aren’t. In a job search quality should always come above the quantity. People apply to every job out there in their desperation, which are not even worth their time. However, you should be careful while considering what job applications actually deserve your attention.
Why You Shouldn’t Apply for Every Job
Applying for every job you come across isn’t really the correct way to job search and increase chances of having a success. If you spend time applying for every job in the market, then it impacts on how you are losing the opportunity to apply for quality jobs that you might actually have a great chance of career success. For this chance, you need to focus on spending more time for a good job. Don’t apply for a job when you are struggling to decide if you are interested or not. By applying to jobs you aren’t a match for, you are making resume’s submission into the waste rather you should focus searching for jobs that are of your interest and qualifications. That’s why it’s very important to be selective in deciding which jobs to apply for.
Narrowing Your Search
A planned and targeted job search can help in not only deciding how to job search and which keywords to use, but where and when to search and apply. Once you narrow your search to your target areas, you can then start to pick the job descriptions to decide if the position is one of the jobs to apply for or not.
Criteria to Consider
- Qualifications: Are you qualified for the job or at least meet the minimum required qualifications?
- The Company: Is this a company you can imagine yourself working for? Do you support and believe in its mission?
- Job Duties: Can you read through the job duties and feel confident that you understand what is expected and that you can perform them successfully?
- Benefits/Flexibility: Does the company, or specific position, offer the benefits and flexibility you are looking for?
- Location: Is the job located in a radius that you are willing to drive every day? Or, are you willing to relocate?
- Long-Term: Can you see yourself working for the company in that position on a long-term basis (more than a few months)?
Ways to Decide Which Jobs to Apply for
So, how one can decide which jobs are worth applying for? Consider these points before applying for a position:
- Make a list – Make a list of all the desired characteristics that your ideal job should possess. Try to write down seven to ten elements that your ideal job should constitutes, such as salary expectations, growth potential, proximity to home and work/life balance, etc. After making the list, rank these characteristics according to their priority. This will help you narrowing down your job search and you can apply for positions that go with your desired characteristics.
- Determine your Qualifications – Do not apply for jobs that you’re blatantly unqualified for. It will not only waste your time and efforts but you will also be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. It’s vital to read the job description carefully and then taking some time to reflect on your own skills and experiences. Are you qualified enough for the job you’re applying or will the hiring man be rolling his eyes after taking a look at your resume? After reviewing the requirements of the job you’re interested in, compile a list of what seems to be the top qualifications. If you possess at least half of the desired qualifications you can go ahead and apply for that position.
- Find out if the salary is in line with your needs – You may not know how much the position actually pays, but you can always do a little digging. You can use online web portals to find out the likely salaries for the roles you’re interested in. You can always talk to people about salary ranges in their companies. So before applying for any job, reflect on the salary you want to be earning at your next job.
- Does this job allow for the lifestyle I want? – We all look for a job that suits our lifestyle and provide us the hours that we want. It is important to consider your commute before you apply for a job. Find out the transport links, for how long you’re prepared to travel to reach work and whether you’d be willing to relocate. If you are aware that a position requires you to be living in a particular city, and you’re not willing to relocate there then there’s no point in applying for that job. Or maybe the job requires you to travel for a weeks at a time, while some may find it a golden opportunity to see the world while still advancing your career but others might prefer having a home life and spending time with their family and friends. Moreover, find out companies’ policies on flexibility. And if a job doesn’t go with your lifestyle then there’s no point in applying for it.
- Who do you want to work for? – Reflecting on what type of organization you wish to work for can also help narrow your job search. Make a list of things you want and do not want from an employer. Consider the factors that are important to you, such as, if you wish to work for a large company where there may be scope to move roles, or you want to work for a small company where you will be able to gain experience more quickly, or you might want to work for a well-known company, will the company provide you the training opportunities?, will the company have the right corporate culture? etc.
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Tips for International Students searching for jobs in USA:
- Research you’re Situation – Before applying for any job you must be aware of your specific situation. Find out which visas you will need, along with their potential costs, deadlines, etc. Understand the rules and regulations of your status before applying for internships, part-time jobs or full-time jobs.
- Find International-talent friendly employers – Do your research to find out which employers in your academic area are interested in hiring international students. Regardless of you possessing the relevant skills and experience, some employers still hesitate to give jobs to international students. It is advisable to target employers with a history of hiring international employees on work visas as they will be more likely to sponsor you.
- Time Management – It is important to look for a job that do not make you feel overwhelmed and help you strike the right balance between your academic and your professional life. It is important that you do not get so involved in your work that you neglect the sole reason of coming to U.S., i.e. your education. Make sure that your job is not that much demanding that your studies end up suffering.
- Be honest with your employer – It is important to be honest and upfront about your schedule and priorities to your employer. Your employer will understand that college life in USA can be especially tough for international students. Therefore, they will be supportive and understanding and adjust your work schedule accordingly, while also providing you specific times off for studying. If your employer or manager doesn’t provide you the work flexibility that you need then there’s no point in taking up that job position.
While it may feel irresponsible to give up a perfectly good job, it is always better to target your job search rather than applying for every jobs you see. By choosing only the best jobs to apply, and using your time effectively on jobs that are a fit, you can spend more time creating quality portfolio or documents to get you noticed, get scheduled for an interview and finally land a good job growth.