The path to your next job starts with a job application, and you need to follow a good plan if you want to submit effective applications. Instead of wasting time filling out applications for jobs you do not want or are not qualified for, you should ask yourself a series of questions before filling out an application to make sure that what you are doing fits your overall career plan.
Is this a job I want?
If you are desperate, then you will wind up taking a job you hate and will derail your career plans. You need to determine whether or not you actually want the job before you fill out the application.
Does this job fit my plan?
A job does not need to be management level to fit into your overall career aspirations. Even insurance agents start off as clerks, but it is important to choose a job that does fit into the plans you have made for your future.
Can I do this job?
While you may really want that job, you have to be honest in determining if you can do the job or not. You may not have the skill set you need at this point in your career to do this job well, which is a good reason not to apply.
Does the company offer a career path?
Some companies offer you a career path you can follow to success, while other companies are just stops along the way in your growing career. If you want a company that will give you opportunities to move up as you develop, then it is important to ask if the company you are applying to has career path options.
Do I know someone at this company?
Referrals from current employees can help increase your chances of getting the job you want. Before you fill out your application, find out if you know someone who works at the company and ask if you can use them as a referral.
What new information can I put on this application?
All of your applications should have the most current information about your career that is available. By including current information on your application, you can show the company that you are remaining active in your field.
How do I stand out from other applicants?
Do you have a Master’s degree in a field filled with Bachelor’s-level applicants? If so, then point that out in your application and help your qualifications to stand out from the rest of the field.
Do I have any inside information?
In your research, you may have found out that the company is only considering applicants who can relocate to another part of the country. You can include this inside information to make your application customized to the company’s needs.
Why am I motivated for this job?
When you fill out your application, highlight your skills and accomplishments that make you uniquely qualified. If you are motivated to get the job, then it will show in the presentation of your credentials.
When can I start?
Most applications ask you when you can start the job if you are hired. Be honest and give a realistic time frame, and always indicate that you would have to give some sort of notice at your current job, if you have one.
When you fill out a job application, you are taking the first step in the next phase of your career. Put plenty of thought into that application, and make sure that you are doing the right thing for all of your short and long-term career plans.