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5 Ways to Decide Which Jobs To Apply To

By Kat Boogaard

Options are never a bad thing. And, when it comes to hunting for a new job? Plenty of opportunity is the thing that everybody hopes for. After all, it’s much harder to land a gig when positions are limited and the competition is stiff.

So, if you’re currently presented with a plethora of listings for different suitable jobs, you should definitely consider yourself lucky. However, that doesn’t mean your situation is easy. Now you’re left to decide which of the open positions are worth your application, and which you should pass on.

“Well, I’ll just apply to them all!” you’re likely thinking to yourself now. And I can definitely see where you’re coming from. If you throw enough resumes out there, something’s bound to stick eventually, right?

Not exactly. In fact, I would discourage you from applying for every single job under the sun. It’s far too overwhelming, meaning your application materials will likely be lackluster. So, those positions you actually were interested in? You’ll probably miss out on them, simply because you were too busy and turned in a halfhearted submission.

Needless to say, you need to exercise some care and consideration when determining what job applications actually deserve your attention. How do you go about doing that? Remember these five key things.

1. Analyze the Duties

First things first, you should look at the listed duties for the position. Employers typically take a decent amount of time on this section, to ensure that applicants can get a solid handle on all that the job entails.

So, read through the associated tasks and try to picture yourself working that job. Can you see yourself being happy with those duties and assignments? You obviously want to like the work you’re doing day in and day out, so getting a handle on the anticipated responsibilities is a great place to start.

2. Determine Your Qualifications

There’s nothing wrong with getting outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself. However, if you apply for numerous jobs that you’re blatantly unqualified for? Well, you’re only wasting your time and setting yourself up for disappointment.

So, after you’ve read through the description, take some time to reflect on your own skills and experience. Are you at least somewhat qualified for this position? Or, will the hiring manager take one look at your resume and roll his or her eyes? You want to make the most of your job searching time by applying for positions that are actually suitable, so make sure that you’re honest with yourself.

3. Research the Company

Of course, you want to like your actual job duties. However, liking your employer is another crucial piece of the puzzle. If you love your position but hate your company, chances are you won’t feel too fulfilled and satisfied in the office each day.

So, once you’ve determined that you think the position is appropriate, it’s time to dig in and find out all that you can about the company. Read reviews (although, remember to take those with a grain of salt!), look through the organization’s website, and peruse their social media profiles. Put on your detective hat to uncover their company culture in order to determine whether or not you can actually see yourself working there.

4. Think Long-Term

There’s nothing wrong with trying new things. However, you don’t want to develop a reputation as a job hopper. So, with each new position you accept, you should ensure that it’s something you could see yourself doing for at least a little while.

Remember to think ahead when determining which jobs to apply for. Is this position just a temporary solution, or is this something you think you’d enjoy for quite some time? Stick with the jobs that actually push you closer to your bigger picture career goals—rather than submitting for any gig that will break you out of your current routine.

5. When in Doubt, Apply

You’ve thought through the above criteria and checked all of your boxes. However, you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should submit your application. In those cases, I’d encourage you to give it a shot and apply anyway!

Remember, submitting an application doesn’t bind you to anything. It’s just the first step in the process. And, if you manage to land an interview? Well, that’s a great opportunity to learn more about the position and determine if it’s truly a fit for you.

Having tons of options on the table is always positive. However, it can also make your job hunt feel a little more overwhelming at times. How can you decide what deserves an application and what’s not quite suited for you? Remember these things, and you’re sure to devote your time and attention to the positions that actually deserve it!

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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