Don’t Waste Your Time

Don’t Waste Your Time

Time is the greatest enemy in a job search.

The longer the hunt for a new job takes, the greater the frustration, futility and the possibility of making a mistake. So, the best way to conduct a job search is to use every minute of every day wisely.

Unfortunately, the Internet has caused a lot of people to adopt a quantitative approach to their job search campaign. They “pour and pray.” They shoot out a huge stream of applications to openings posted on job boards and employers’ Web-sites and pray that at least one will yield a response.

While making such an enormous effort may feel as if you’re investing your time wisely, however, the results indicate otherwise. The quantitative approach is almost always a failure. Why? Because you end up applying for a job you don’t want or can’t get.

Employers are risk averse and very finicky. When you apply for a job in which you aren’t very interested, they will sense your indifference and focus on applicants where they have a higher chance of success. And, when you apply for a job for which you aren’t qualified, they will quickly decide you’re a “trash applicant” and summarily discard your resume. In either case, all you’ve done is waste your time.

So, what’s a better approach? Use a qualitative application strategy that I call “select and succeed.” It involves using two screens to evaluate job postings so you only apply for those you truly want to do and can actually get. As a result, you use your time wisely and optimize your chances of being hired.

To read more of this column entitled “Don’t Waste Your Time,” click here to reach the latest edition of my Newsletter for Job Seekers.

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Work Strong,


  1. Peter, I just love your posts. They are a beacon in what can sometimes feel like the murky mire of an extended job search. Today’s wisdom resonates. If we truly are to be “career activists” (as opposed to “job supplicants”), we do need to screen opportunities carefully and select, target, and direct our precious energies at only those positions that are the best fit with our interests and capabilities–and might I add, passions. Hard as it might be, and even when the wolves are howling at the door, expending energy and emotional stamina on roles that we know are absolute non-starters in the first place only undermines our efforts and keeps us all that much further away from the prize. Work strong!