Evaluating your job application

When presented with the task of finding a new job; it can be quite stressful and daunting. There can be a lot of negative emotions and stress, particularly if you need the income and you are getting knocked back repeatedly.

Here a few things to consider when applying for work.

  1. What is the employer looking for? This is often missed by the applicant. If the employer is seeking someone that has a specific qualification or a experience; chances are that’s the first thing they will rule a potential applicant out. Don’t waste the employers and your time by completing an application for a role that they are more than likely to pass on.
  2. Who do you know? We’ve all heard that term: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. There is a lot of validity in that statement. Think about the people in your network and if they may have an opportunity. Even if they don’t have a job available in their company; try catching up with them for a coffee and ask about how they achieved their position and how you can get there.
  3. What is your presentation like? This question covers a broad range of things but really what it means is what impression will you leave on the employer? This can be from your resume having a professional-looking layout through to your ability to communicate effectively in an interview when you first meet the employer. These things count in the eyes of the employer as it shows a level of respect for them and the process as well as to the other applicants.  
  4. Are you applying for the right work? The knock-backs or the lack of replies to your applications might indicate that this is not the role or industry for you right now. Find time to re-think and re-evaluate your career choice/s and change trajectory if it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Also think about what might be missing from your applications and find a way to address it; for example: gaining more experience by volunteering or interning. Try the Australian governments ‘Career Quiz’ to see what you might be suited at doing: https://joboutlook.gov.au/careerquiz.aspx 

The final thing I wanted to address is the need to stay positive. It affects our outlook on our job prospects and can often find it affecting our personal relationships. Kanfer, Wanberg & Kantrowitz (2001) determined that there is a positive relationship between behaviour, motivation and career outcomes.  Take the ‘wins’ when you get them. Getting a call-back or email from an employer is a win, particularly if there are a lot of applicants. Don’t lose faith; especially if you seem to be meeting the ‘criteria’ for the role on paper, the employer could have been torn between choosing you and another applicant.

All the best in your careers.


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