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How do I know whether a role is worth applying for?

Posted on 4/04/2022 by Tracey George MIRP

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We know that when job seeking you can spend a fair bit of time sifting through job adverts and alerts, this can often be hours at a time and one advert can start to blur into another.

We also know that even if you are not actively looking for work, you are ‘fed’ opportunities through various mediums constantly, you just have to do a quick scroll on LinkedIn every now and then to come across numerous potential opportunities or sponsored adverts on Facebook.

So how can you quickly assess whether a role is worth applying for and ensure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity?

We have devised some useful questions you can ask yourself to ‘qualify’ the relevance of your experience, skills, qualifications, and potential for a role, as well as really considering whether the organisation is one that you would want to work for and remain committed to.

  • Job titles vary considerably from one organisation to another, don’t make a call on that alone, keep reading.

  • Does the role fit with your current career aspirations and/or needs?

  • Is it paying your required salary or rate, or near enough to this?

  • Is the required place of work suitable and does the advert indicate flexibility on location?

  • When you read the advert, does it leave you feeling excited?

  • Do you have the required experience, skills, ability, qualifications as outlined in the advert?

  • Are you ready to leave your current employment for a new opportunity?

  • Are you in a position to commit to the recruitment process and a new role?

We suggest that at this point you consider the responsibilities and duties a bit more carefully and ask yourself:

  • Have you done this before?

  • If so, have you completed these tasks successfully?

  • Did you enjoy doing this work/task?

  • Does this role play to your key strengths?

  • Do you have some of the required hard, soft and/or transferable skills?

  • Are you confident in your ability to learn and adapt if supported?

It is worth placing a little more emphasis on the outlined essential criteria and less on desirable. If you are still unsure ask to speak with the line manager or recruiter to discuss the vacancy before applying.

Do remember that when you are applying for a role through a recruitment consultancy, the final shortlisting for securing an interview, is done by the organisation and not the agency.

Some additional considerations to help you decode the advert and decide whether the organisation is right for you:

  • Does the organisation’s values and mission/vision appeal to you?

  • Have you researched the organisation? Website, LinkedIn or Google

  • Do you know anyone that works there currently or has worked there in the past?

  • Don’t let gender bias language or similar, put you off applying

  • Don’t be put off by acronyms and jargon, often a simple google search will give you the answer or just ask the recruiter or hiring manager for clarity

  • Don’t be put off by wordy, long, and unrealistic adverts or job titles

  • There can be an expectation for job applicants to ‘read between the lines’ or make assumptions about what people might know about the organisation or role eg ‘work independently’ or ‘hit the ground running’ or ‘good communication skills’ – ask for clarity if you are unsure

  • Ask for the opinion of someone you value and trust – discuss any reservations, consider their thoughts on your suitability

  • If you are still unsure whether to apply, contact the organisation or recruitment consultancy for more information, a copy of the full job description or a candidate pack and ask any questions you may have

If you do decide to apply, here are some final points to consider:

  • Use a job tracker to ensure you can easily access information about a role you have applied for, you never know when you might get that call about an interview!

  • Have you got holidays or reasons why you may not be available to see the process through?

  • Consider whether a disclosure about a disability of long-term health condition is relevant at application stage or not? Will it help you with the application? Are you comfortable disclosing this and remember, you do not have to.

  • If you need any support, adjustments or resources that will help you with the application process or beyond, just ask and be clear, open and confident with your request.

  • Speak to your Recruitment Consultant or the hiring manager.

 For more information and up to date career advice, visit our employability hub and why not take a look at some of our current live vacancies, there are potentially some great opportunities out there for you right now.