As a high salary earner your time is precious and it is unlikely you have hours to spend each day trawling through the various job sites and newspapers. Below are some tips to save you time when assessing which job ads to spend time applying for and which to avoid:
1. Choose Employer branded job ads over anonymous Agency job ads
The chances of securing a position through a job ad direct from an employer are much higher than through an agency job ad. Employer job ads are usually genuine and the employer is more likely to consider applications that are not a 100% job match. This is unlike recruitment agencies where they are focused on working to a detailed match, plus often use matching technology to filter your resume before it even is seen by a human. This is undesirable for the high salary earner who may not want to do the exact same job they have done before, so matching will not open up any new doors.
2. Avoid generic job ads
A generic job ad is one that reads something like “we are always looking for accountants”. Though this may be the case, chances are they don’t have an immediate need and are likely doing a bit of fishing and just seeing what is out there. There is no harm in applying for these job ads, however your time would be better spent on applying for current and specific jobs with employers that exist now, rather than a job that may or may not eventuate.
3. Avoid ads with multiple roles, similar to a shopping list!
This type of ad can come in two forms, the first being “We are looking for three engineers” and the second as a menu of jobs in the one ad, such as “We are looking for a Project Manager, IT Developer and Marketing Manager”. The reason I suggest these be avoided is that they are somewhat impersonal and not targeted. Advertising your jobs like a weekly supermarket catalogue of specials is a reflection on the employer or advertiser and displays a mass hiring approach where you’re treated as a number. Therefore, it is unlikely your application is going to receive much personal attention, if at all.
4. Check the date the job ad was posted and assess accordingly
Before applying for a job online it is advisable to check the date the job ad was posted before you do anything else. If the job ad has been up for more than three weeks it may be advisable to email or call to see what stage of the hiring process they are at, such as if they are still accepting applications or are at final interview stage. This approach should also be followed for print ads. The last thing you want to do is spend an hour of your time applying for a job that has been filled or near filled before you applied.
5. Avoid job ads that lack detail and are more like a mystery job!
I am sure many of you can relate to the mystery job ad; the generalist job sites are littered with them. When looking for new employment opportunities, I suggest the more detailed job ads are where to focus your attention. Key details a job ad should include are: job location, salary range and details about the position, such as key responsibilities and the type of person they are looking for; who the job is with; and who to contact. As they say “the devil is in the detail and the angels are too”. If a job ad does not include key details, the most likely explanations are that the hiring business has a poor recruitment process or that the role is not genuine and has been posted to build up a candidate database.
6. Be cautious of job ads listed in too many places with multiple recruiters
Be wary of the job ad that has been listed everywhere with everyone. No doubt you have come across these types of job ads that are vaguely written and are listed with multiple recruitment agencies and sometimes with the employer directly – though you probably find this out after the event! If you are seeing the same job ad everywhere it may well be genuine; however, you have to question the repetition and extended agency reach for it. Is it because the role is obscure? Is it a high turnover position that requires all the stops to be pulled out? Or does the employer have a poor recruitment process? I would suggest that you apply with caution here.
7. Review the application process for each job ad
Generally speaking, job ads from the government and education sectors are extremely detailed and in return have comprehensive application processes. These application processes are normally straightforward yet tend to be a little lengthy, which is understandable. On the other hand, when you have a vague job ad with little detail shared, plus a lengthy and complicated application process, you may want to think about the above mentioned points before you apply, as it may just be too much work with a low probability of delivering a positive return for you.
The reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of jobs listed on the internet with varying degree of legitimacy, quality and a finite window of opportunity in which to apply. There is a tendency by high salary earners to apply for many job opportunities in the hope that some translate into interview, however I would suggest a more strategic approach when applying online to eliminate the job ads that are unlikely to go anywhere. Focus on the quality of job ads rather the quantity of applications, as the quality of a job ad usually reflects the quality of the employer and their hiring processes.