Don’t Stretch Job Search Beyond Appropriate Level

Q.  As a December 2011 graduate, I’ve begun applying for jobs.  My college adviser sent me a job posting for a full-time position as an senior account executive supervisor at a big agency.  While I have had two agency internships and know a lot about what goes into the SAE job, I wonder if I should apply.  My adviser said it doesn’t hurt to get your name in front of the hiring managers at a major firm even if it isn’t exactly the right job.   -SL

A.  Save your time and energy.  It is highly unlikely you’ll leap two or three job steps in a major agency.  Your adviser should be keeping an eye open for post-graduation internships and entry-level positions such as account coordinator, assistant account executive and trainee positions.  Applying for appropriate-level positions assures your resume is reviewed.  Otherwise, it will be ignored.  Your resume won’t necessarily be kept around for the next opening.  If the right job crops up and you apply again, some recruiters and hiring managers will simply feel you’re applying for everything everywhere — a sign of desperation.  Agencies already get plenty of resumes from over-qualified applicants who claim they are willing to take the lesser job.  In almost every case, agencies pretty effectively identify and hire appropriately qualified candidates.  Keep your search realistically focused.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Stretch Job Search Beyond Appropriate Level

  1. I have begun researching jobs as well. I was wondering if it would be considered “unrealistic” to apply for an entry level position at an agency if my previous internships have been for either a non-profit or the city. If I have aquired the skills needed to apply for the postion through these internships but I am worried that my application will get overlooked because I do not have agency experience.

  2. I am about to begin my job search in the Spring, and this question is on my mind. Is it worthwhile to apply for a job that just a little above your qualifications? For example, if they ask that applicants have 3 to 4 years experience, should I apply with only my 2 semester-long internships as experience?

  3. I agree. I am on the job search right now and I am looking for jobs to apply for. A lot of companies these days have an online application for general jobs and you are able to mark your interest. Putting your name and resume out there it will gain interest in you without making you look silly for trying for jobs out of your reach. If you really like a company and feel confident this may be ok but try to stay away from these types of jobs and stick to entry level or things you can handle.

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