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Why you should be selective about the jobs you apply for

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 1 Aug 2022

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Sometimes, if you are desperate for a new role, it can be difficult to turn away any opportunity that comes your way. However, whether you are job seeking because you’re out of work or you want a change, you shouldn’t accept or apply for jobs frantically. Getting a job just for the sake of it, is something you may feel you have to do. But if you can, take your time in your job search and find the right one for you. This can help you be in a better situation and not want to change jobs again in the near future. Think about your career development, what you want from a role and why you are job seeking. So why should you be selective about the jobs you apply for?

The job isn’t right

Likelihood is, there are loads of jobs available that would be the right fit for you. Applications take a lot of time and effort to complete, so being selective at the beginning can help save you time and focus on the things that really matter in your job search. You need to know what it is you want. Have things like salary, location, sector and duties thought out before you start searching. This can help you use the tools resources like job boards give you, to narrow down your search.

There’s also no point in just applying to all roles that appear in your search. They may not be the right company; location may be varied on the job description and many other factors that may not suit you. The job itself has to also resonate with your career goals and the skills you currently have. So, take your time. It may be easier said than done when you feel rushed, but you’ll thank yourself later.

The sector

Different sectors will have the same engineering role available. However, if you don’t want to work in the defence sector, why apply for roles just because you can do the job?

You want something that you can develop and grow in. Don’t choose a sector you don’t want to work in for a long period of time, if you know it’s not for you. There is a large variety of engineering sectors you can chose, so think about it.

Do you want to stay in the sector you currently work in? or are you looking for something different? Questions only you can answer but will save you a lot of time to know this before applying.

Read the skills section

If you have done your research, narrowed down a list of roles you would like to apply to, it’s key that you read the job description thoroughly. Just because a handful of roles have the same job title, doesn’t meant that they will all include the same day-to-day activities. Read through, make a note of the key skills you have and the ones you don’t, but also take into consideration skills you can learn on the job.

Soft skills are also very important. If you don’t feel like you can do every single thing on the job spec, there are other skills you have that would be very important to an employer. Balance out the positives and the negatives and think about whether there are any other skills you can offer an employer. Sometimes, a willingness to learn and develop goes a long way.

You’ll find it harder to tailor applications

When applying for jobs, you want to be tailoring your applications for the best outcome possible. This means tailoring your CV and cover letter to an organisation or a role specifically. If you are applying for jobs quickly and with no thought, this will be harder to do.

A cover letter is all about sharing your skills and ambition in more detail than your CV. Your CV is there to outline your skills, experience and education. Whereas a cover letter is all about selling yourself to an employer.

You may have a generic CV and cover letter that you send out to employers, but a tailored one that focuses on the skills and experiences they have asked for, can make a big difference. You can take the time to outline why you would be a good candidate, whilst focusing on the skills they have asked for. This means taking the time to read the job, research the company and really understand why you would be a good fit. These things take time, and time can be very valuable in a job search, so don’t waste it on jobs you don’t really see a future with.

Avoid disappointment

One thing that can really cause you to feel negative is rejection. We all go through it and especially in a job search. It’s not always as simple as finding a single role we would like, applying and having a flawless interview process.

If you are applying for jobs where your skills don’t fit the criteria or you’re not tailoring your job spec, employers aren’t going to continue your application. When employers say no, even if your heart wasn’t 100% in it, it can really knock your confidence. Make sure that you are avoiding this when possible and being selective.

It’s okay to be picky, especially when you’ll be spending a lot of time at your job. You want to enjoy it and feel like you’re achieving something. It will take time but being selective can only help you achieve your goals.