7 reasons not to apply for the job

By Heather Huhman

Finding a job is nothing short of challenging. Whether you’re currently working in a position you hate or have embarked on a seemingly endless job search, almost any opportunity is more enticing than your current situation.

Jobs certainly aren’t a dime dozen in the current job climate, but this doesn’t mean you should apply to every position you come across. It might be time to reconsider the way you’re searching for employment if this tactic is part of your job search strategy. You may feel like you’re raising your chances of landing a position by blindly applying to everything on your radar, but you’re actually wasting valuable time and energy.

Before you apply to the list of openings you’re itching to get through, here are seven signs to watch out for:

1. Something’s Fishy. Have you ever read a job listing and felt like something was off? Maybe there’s a lack of information regarding the employer, little to no notation of qualifications, or, a serious red flag: the explanation that you can work from anywhere. Scam job listings are more prevalent than most of us would like to think. Do your research on every posting you come across before giving out your personal information.

2. You’re Desperate. Your search for employment is taking way longer than you had hoped, and you’re running low on funds. While you may need a position now, it’s highly unlikely you’ll win over a hiring manager with desperation in your tone. Companies aren’t looking for employees who are biding their time; they’re looking for the perfect match for company culture for the long haul. Consider seeking out part-time work during your job search to ensure you’re focused on landing a position you’re fit for.

3. You’re Not Qualified. A successful job search often comes down to how well you understand and market your experiences and skills. If you’re a recent graduate, it’s probably not in your best interest to apply for the position asking for three to five years of experience. If the qualifications they’re asking for are nowhere to be found on your resume, you should pass – and lying is never an option.

4. Your Network Says No. One way to gain insight on a job opportunity is to ask your network if they or anyone they know has worked for the company. You will gain important feedback regarding your potential employer, as well as the position at hand. If you’re receiving a lot of negative feedback, it might be best to skip out on applying.

5. Research Brings Up Red Flags. Scanning online resources for detailed company reviews on an employer is an important step in the job search. Some red flags you may encounter during your research could include a lack of web presence, consistently poor reviews on Glassdoor, no employees listed on LinkedIn, or even negative online reviews from previous workers. Carefully take these signs into consideration before you move forward in the application process.

6. You’re Overqualified. Many jobs act as important stepping stones in your career – everyone got their start somewhere. But if the position you’re considering doesn’t align with your career goals in any way, think about your future. With nearly half of Americans with college degrees working in jobs they’re overqualified for, it might be best to avoid getting stuck in this situation.

7. Company Values Are Off. You may be a perfect fit when it comes to qualifications, but if you don’t share similar values with the company, this could be troublesome. Every company has a unique mission, interests, work environment, and way of doing business. Many hiring managers won’t consider candidates who lack value alignment, but why would you want to work for a company you don’t believe in?

Save time during your job search by only applying for positions that are a good fit for you. This means researching, evaluating, and understanding each position and potential employer before applying.

Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.