When a client asks Revision Resume to create or critique a resume, we ask them to let us know what job they plan to apply for. This allows us to ensure that the resume is aligned to the job posting. In many cases, a client knows exactly which job they are striving to obtain. Sometimes though, the client doesn't have any idea of what position they are seeking. They just know they want to look for a new job. Below we have provided guidance for how to approach this situation, should you be unsure of what job to apply for.
Resist the Urge to Apply for Any and All Positions
It may be tempting to submit your resume to many different positions to see which ones yield a response. We recommend against this.
First, you are unlikely to get any response if you are submitting a generic resume over and over. Hiring managers are looking for resumes that show why you are the right fit for their specific job opening. This means your resume should be aligned to that specific posting. A generic resume submitted to lots of postings won't show how your unique qualifications make you a good fit for the specific position. Therefore, it will likely be passed over.
Let's say you do get called for one of the many openings you applied for. Now you must invest your time in a phone call interview and an in-person interview. What, if after both of those hurdles, you realize that the job isn't actually a good fit for you? Now you have spent a considerable amount of your own time and not succeeded in obtaining the job you desire. Even worse, if you are offered the job and accept, you may find in a few months you are back at square one, looking for a new job, because you are unsatisfied with the position you took.
Revision Resume recommends that you spend some time looking at different job postings to determine if they would be a good fit for your career. Does the company have the kind of opportunities you are looking for? Will there be growth potential? Are you a good match for their company culture?
Take Time to Evaluate Yourself and Your Situation Before Applying
In an ideal world, everyone would apply for their dream job. But, the reality is that everyone has different circumstances. And sometimes your dream job isn't the right job for you at this time. You need to really evaluate your personal circumstances before you start applying for a new position.
Consider the following questions:
-Are you looking to advance your career? Or, are you looking for an equivalent position to the one you have now?
-What do you see yourself doing in five years? Make sure you apply for a role that helps you achieve that goal.
-Do you require a certain salary to continue to pay your bills?
-Do you have any potential red flags, like a job gap? If so, do you need to accept a position that is not the same as the one you last held, but instead is a stepping stone?
-Are there specific aspects of a job that are especially important to you? Does the company need to have a certain culture or provide specific benefits?
-Do you desire a certain work-life balance?
-Do you have circumstances that may limit the hours you can work, or the work travel you can handle? An example would be caring for an elderly parent.
While this list is not exhaustive, it should give an idea of the questions you need to ask yourself before you start applying for jobs. Answers to these questions will help narrow down the potential job openings to those that will be best for you.
How Can You Tell if a Job Opening Is a Good Fit?
Admittedly, this can be tricky. There is only so much information available within a job posting. We suggest that you look beyond the job posting, particularly if it doesn't provide much detail.
Go to the company website to learn more about their mission and philosophy. Do they have a social media presence? Check that too. If they are on LinkedIn, follow them. With a little investigative work, you can find out quite a bit.
Do you know anyone that works at the company you are considering applying to? Networking is an ideal way to learn the inside scoop.
You may still find that you are making a decision based on limited information. That is OK. Remember, the interview is for the job candidate AND the hiring company. You will want to go to the interview armed with a list of questions. This will allow you the opportunity to determine if the position is the right fit for you at this point in your life. And, if you decide it isn't, you can turn down the job offer and continue your search. Hopping from one position to another without determining if it will be a good match, only results in you looking for a new job sooner than you would like.
Revision Resume is here to help you during your job search. We want our clients to be successful in achieving the right job! Should you need assistance with your resume, cover letter or the job search in general, please don't hesitate to reach out!