Time Saving Tips: When is a job application a waste of time?

That's not a rhetorical question. The fact is that a lot of job applications fail. They don't get interviews, they don't get jobs, and they consume a lot of time. Time is very precious when it comes to chasing opportunities. They're only going to be there for a while, and people are spending their time going for jobs they won't get unless they're suddenly very lucky.

How to tell if a job is a waste of time

These are the sure signs of a job that really isn't going to happen:

  • Bad match for job criteria: If you're a match for half the job criteria, forget it. That will be obvious. Check the job, see if you're a shot, but make a phone call, not an application, until you're sure about that.
  • Skills and experience issues: These are going to stick out instantly on your job application. Again, check, but be realistic about the actual job prospects.
  • Unclear job criteria: Definitely not a good sign. Either the ad is badly composed, or you're in the wrong area. If you don't understand the criteria, getting the job could be impossible.
  • Low grade job, below qualifications and experience levels: On your CV, it looks like a backward step, devaluing your career credentials. You could also wind up with a job you loathe or bores you to death. Not an option, unless desperate.
  • Lack of information from HR or recruiters about job issues: This is the all time Look Out signal in job hunting. It's not you, it's them. The response to your application will be bureaucratic, and probably irritating, at best. Experienced and professional people should avoid this situation at all costs, unless it's a job you really want.

Finding a job where you can be sure you're not wasting your time

Thankfully, many employers and recruiters are a lot better organized, and they do good job ads. These are the sure signs of a worthwhile job:

Good match for job criteria: If you're a complete match for the criteria, go ahead with the application, but check our other points here to make sure you're getting what you think you're getting. Well laid out, professionally credible ads: These are signs of a genuine, professionally oriented, competent employer with a good hiring regime. These ads tend to be technically advanced, well written, and informative to the people they want.

Job is a definite career asset: These are the jobs where you can literally see the career track. You know where the job can take you, and you can be genuinely enthusiastic. Start writing your application immediately.

Good contact people: These people are an absolute blessing to job hunters. They're also signs of a good professional organization. They don't get lost in professional or technical questions, and have the answers you need. You will find out exactly what you need to know with these people.