It is so easy to apply for a job nowadays. Advertisements allow you to submit your CV in a couple of seconds. Some people take even longer and craft a well-prepared letter.

I am not saying that we do not get creative from time to time, but often our clients are very specific. Take a recent job advertisement. We were looking for a Regional Operations Manager for an overseas distributorship. Automotive experience was essential.

In addition, on the first line of the client’s job spec, the ability to speak fluent Russian. So today I open up my inbox and there is a long, detailed letter from a very nice gentleman who speaks fluent Arabic and has worked only in the cosmetics industry.

Do me a favour, do not waste your time. I am all for “thinking outside the box” but you’ll need to satisfy at least one of the two criteria in our advertisement, either have worked in automotive or speak fluent Russian. And in truth the only way you would have got past us as gatekeepers was if you had both.

It probably makes you feel as if you are busy. But you do yourself no favours and you waste an enormous amount of time. Spend that time more productively looking for businesses for which your experience is relevant and approach them directly, rather than just waiting for job ads.

You are much more likely to have success.

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