Before you hit that “apply now” button on a job advertisement, stop and consider if you really have enough experience for the job, or not. This simple step can save you, and the hiring manager, from wasted time and effort.
There are many gray areas when it comes to the job application process. Some HR departments do a good job of writing job descriptions that accurately describe the job requirements and duties. Others create job ads that are somewhat vague, making it hard to determine if you have the right skills and experience.
Remember that the goal of an effective job search is to land an assignment that is well-matched to your skills, education, experience, and personality. While some job seekers apply for every job under the sun hoping just to get an interview, this is not a positive way to find meaningful work. Instead, it’s better to focus on the actual job descriptions and requirements to land a job that’s perfect for you.
Here are a few ways to evaluate if you have enough experience for a job you are thinking about applying for.
- Read the job description carefully, noting special educational or license requirements needed to be considered.
- Evaluate if the job is entry-level, mid-level or upper management in scope of responsibilities and experience – then review your own work history to see if you meet or exceed the requirements.
- Consider any relocation requests and if you have what it takes to take a job in a new cultural region given your background, family and personal lifestyle.
- Do a search for salary ranges for the specific industry and job title to see if you are willing to work for the wages and benefits being offered in the job ad.
- If you are changing careers, decide if you have up-to-date skills and training in the area for which you are applying for opportunities.
- In client facing assignments, consider if you have developed strong interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills to excel in the role.
- Ask yourself if you can see yourself working in that role 10-years from now, or if you have your sights set too high or too low?
- Decide if you have the ability to manage other people or clients the way that the job description says you will be required to.
Applying for work can be challenging when there are so many opportunities that seem right for you. The reality is that sometimes the job description can be misleading or omits information that you need to make an informed decision. If in doubt, pick up the phone and call the main corporate number to inquire with the HR department on what the job fully entails, before you zip off a resume.
When searching for a new career, it’s also often a better idea to get support from a quality employment agency, like The Suburban Group, to help you be more successful in a job search. Taking a moment to get objective guidance from a team of skilled recruiters can help you get closer to being matched to an assignment that’s right for your unique skills and education.