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December 2012
Not Just Any Job: the Right Job
by Susan Reynolds

You're spending hours and hours on the Internet, finding postings, submitting your application, hoping and hoping that you'll have a chance to get your foot in the door of a great company. Your family and your future depend upon getting your career on track. It's just got to lead to something. But here's a major problem. People are applying to almost anything. They believe they could do so many things, that if a company would just give them a chance to learn, they'd be fine. And they're great learners! So for those of you that are sitting in your homes, submitting applications to almost any posting they even slightly think is possible, I'm going to have to try to bring an additional level of perspective to your search and your expenditure of your time.

  • Read the postings VERY carefully. Most postings / job descriptions provide very strong clues and lists of requirements. While many successful job searchers don't have every single criterion on such a list, do you think you meet them? Who will be your competition? Would you hire you for this role?

  • Research the company (if you can) and infer as much as possible about their situation and their key needs. You might be trying to apply for a situation in which you simply won't fit. Be careful of your time and your energy! Organizations are receiving hundreds of applicants. Are you a realistic candidate?

  • Spend ONLY a logical amount of time even answering postings. Word of mouth is absolutely the main source of career opportunities, while postings lead to a small fraction. If you're spending most of your time submitting on-line applications, you're probably going to need to start building your professional contacts. You're getting it backwards.

Research the best career options for your situation. Know where and why you're marketable. Then address the job market in a proactive attack!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at NewMarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search, career strategy, and resume-writing firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or 661-755-3308.

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