If you’re in desperation mode—i.e., totally miserable in your current gig or job hunting for the fourth unemployed month in a row—it’s temping to apply for any link your mouse lands on.
But if you’re set on finding a career that you actually love (which you should be!), stop applying willy-nilly to every job listing you stumble upon, and start focusing on finding the positions that make you excited to ditch your pajamas for the power suit hiding in the back of your closet.
How do you find these gems? Well, first off, you have to learn how to filter out the job listings that just aren’t worth your time. If you’re not sure exactly what to avoid, here are four signs that you should close your browser window and continue your search elsewhere.
1. It Seems a Little Fishy
If you find a job listing that doesn’t mention a specific company name, legitimate website, or any contact information besides an encrypted email address—well, that’s a sign you’re looking on Craigslist. And that, my friend, is a red flag.
I’ll admit it—I was once the victim of a Craigslist job listing. I applied to an entry-level marketing position, despite not being able to find much information about the company through its listed website. No more than an hour later, I had received both an email and a phone call, requesting an interview for the very next day. A little confused by the instantaneous reply, I Googled the company and quickly found out it was a scam.
While it’s possible to land a legitimate job on Craigslist, a large number of job listings aren’t trustworthy—so it’s important to sniff out which aren’t worth your time. If you can’t research the company (i.e., the listing doesn’t include a website or even a company name) or you’re asked for personal information like a Social Security or driver’s license number—retreat. Even better: Re-focus your job search by targeting specific companies through their own websites.
2. You Don’t Meet the Qualifications—By a Long Shot
Beginning your job hunt with an ideal position in mind is a good start—as long as it’s within your range of skills and experience. You may want to apply for the senior-level management position that requires 10 years of experience, but if you only have three years under your belt, you won’t stand a chance next to more qualified candidates.
Of course, if you’re only short the required experience by a small margin, go for it. But if you are missing key skills or several years of experience, it’s best to spend your time either applying for a job that would be a stepping stone to your ideal position, or working to gain the skills that will help you meet those qualifications.
Signs 3,4, and the complete article
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