If you are currently unemployed, you may feel like time is yours to waste. With nowhere to go and no one to report to, you've got nothing but time, right?
Wrong! As you probably already know, the clock is ticking on your job search. And the longer you remain unemployed, the harder it may be to land the job you want. So why are you wasting so much time?
It's not the hour on Facebook or the occasional game of Angry Birds that's wasting your valuable time. No, the larger culprit is probably an activity that actually feels productive. It seems like a task that will get you closer to your goal, but in reality, it’s just a big waste of time. So, what is it?
The #1 way job seekers waste time is by applying to the wrong jobs. Not sure if you're guilty? Think about it. Have you ever submitted your resume for a job that you knew wouldn't make you happy? Have you applied for a position where you were extremely overqualified? What about a job where you weren’t qualified at all?
Many recruiters believe the biggest mistake job seekers make is applying to jobs they are not qualified for. In the current job market, hiring managers and recruiters may receive hundreds of resumes for each position they post. The candidates that make it to their short lists have every minimum requirement and most, if not all, of the preferred skills listed in the job posting. So when you submit your resume for jobs that you do not qualify for, you are not only wasting the recruiter’s time but also your own. The time you spent writing that cover letter and tweaking your resume for that particular job could have – should have – been spent elsewhere.
But what if you're not qualified for the job you want? Research the typical career path for someone who holds your ideal position and then go after the job that will give you the experience you need. Is there a particular industry that feeds into the industry you are pursuing? Could you volunteer for a similar position with a non-profit? Think about ways to acquire the experience you need, not ways to get around the requirements. In this job market, there are no shortcuts.
Anyone in the middle of a job search knows it can be frustrating, and no one would blame you for wanting to increase your odds by applying to every attractive job you come across. However, when you apply to jobs that you are clearly not qualified for you are setting yourself up for failure and possibly irritating the very people (hiring managers and recruiters) that you are hoping to impress. Save yourself time (and frustration!) by focusing your efforts on the jobs you are truly qualified for.
Robyn Melhuish is the editor at MedReps.com, the leading website for medical device sales jobs, pharma sales jobs, and biotech sales jobs. In a competitive industry like healthcare sales, the MedReps.com career center strives to offer candidates advice that will give them the advantage they need.