13 Signs You’re Applying For The Wrong Jobs
What if all this while you’ve been applying for the wrong jobs, and that’s the reason your job search has not been working? Sure, after so many late-night resume revisions without any job offer to show for it, it can be tempting to wonder if getting a new job is even possible for you. But, the problem might be that you’re trying to fix the wrong thing.
One classic mistake I see often from high-achievers in a variety of industries is that they’re applying for the wrong jobs, and they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Instead, they focus on fixing things like their resume, not knowing there’s another reason they’re not getting interviews or job offers. Or worse, if they are getting interviews and job offers, they have a higher risk of landing a new job with the same problems that motivated them to search for another job in the first place because they’re applying for the wrong positions.
Here are a few signs you might be making the mistake of applying for the wrong jobs:
You type in vague words when searching for job openings. — If you type in vague keywords on LinkedIn, like “marketing jobs,” you will get vague results. Likewise, if you’re only seeing vague job openings, then you might be limiting your opportunities and applying for jobs that aren’t the best fit for you or your expertise and interests.
You read job descriptions and think, “I can make this work.” — Even if the role isn’t 100% what you have in mind for yourself, you don’t hesitate to submit your application. You apply for jobs without even considering if it aligns with your desires and goals for your career.
When you finally get interviews, you’re not excited about the position. — As much as you feel excited and happy about landing an interview when you realize the role you’re interviewing for, it doesn’t light you up. You instantly think, “Why did I apply for this again?”
You’re approaching your job search with the mentality that, “I need to get my foot in the door,” but you’re not a recent graduate. — This mentality might have worked when you were searching for internships or when you were looking to land your first full-time role. But, now that you have years of experience under your belt, I always say, trying to get your foot in the door will only cause your foot to get stuck.
During interviews, you often discover that you’re not excited about the company or what they do. — In the haste to land a new job, it’s easy to focus on the responsibilities of the role without considering other factors. But, if you’re constantly finding yourself not enthusiastic about the companies you’re interviewing with, including what they do and who they serve, that likely means you’re not applying to the right opportunities.
Somehow the salary always seems to be extremely low. — If you keep running into positions that require a massive pay cut, then you’re likely aiming too low in your job search and applying for positions that don’t match your level of expertise or competitive market value.
The job description asks for six more years of experience than you have, but you decide to apply anyway. — If you’re only applying to jobs that require twice the years of experience you have to offer, then you’re not making the most use of your time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply for roles you’re a little under-qualified for if you know you can do the job, but there’s a difference between under-qualified and unqualified.
You’re applying for the same type of role you’re currently in, even though you want more career growth. — When you’re so ready for a change in your career, you might not even realize you’re making this mistake, especially if you’re mindlessly applying for jobs. But, if the opportunity doesn’t seem like the step up in your career that you desire, then you’ll risk wasting your time in interviews or landing a new job with the same problems.
You assume that you may have to take a step back in your career, even though that may not be true. — Your reasons may be valid, but if you’ve decided that it’s time to take a step back in your career, then you’re likely not applying for jobs that match your level of expertise and experience. Recruiters and hiring managers may notice this too, which may cause them to pass you over for roles.
You’re constantly hearing that you’re overqualified. — If interviewers are being completely honest with you and telling you that they think you can do better, then you can probably do better.
The role doesn’t seem challenging at all. — Unless you’re in a season where you’d prefer a less challenging role, if the role doesn’t seem a bit challenging in an exciting way, then you’ll end up ready for something different in a short time.
When someone asks you what you’d like to do next in your career, you tell them you’re looking for new opportunities. — If you’re not specific with people who ask about your job search, then you’re probably not being specific about the jobs that you’re pursuing when you do apply for jobs, which likely means you’re applying for jobs that aren’t quite right for you.
The job opportunity requires you to sacrifice something important to you. — Maybe it’s your lifestyle or your salary or the potential for career advancement, whatever it is, if you’re making sacrifices that are critical to your career fulfillment, then you’re applying for the wrong jobs because you won’t be happy once you’re in the position.
So how do you fix this?
As much as it would’ve been nice to land a new job yesterday, if you can relate to any of these signs, then you have to be willing to take a step back and reevaluate how you’re approaching your job search. Your job search should be exciting, strategic, and intentional. If you’re not clear on what you’d like to do next in your career, take some time to evaluate your options and decide what you’d like to do next. If you do know the role you’d like to pursue, but don’t know how to be intentional and strategic about it, get a plan, ask for help or work with a career coach to help you navigate the things you don’t know so that you can accelerate your job search faster. At the very least, if you want to avoid applying to the wrong jobs, before you apply to any job, start asking yourself, “Is this the right fit for me?”