Don't Talk Yourself Out Of Applying Many times, students mention the kinds of positions they are interested in. Now it's usually very difficult to point a job seeker to the exact position being sought. So I end up pointing out positions that are similar to what the person is seeking. In the process of reviewing these openings, the student may doubt whether she is eligible for the position or qualifies for it and then manages to persaude herself that it's not worth applying. Sadly, I've done this in the past, as have my fellow alumni. It's easy to see why someone would not want to apply to a position where all of the qualification requirements are not met. It takes time to fill out the application and get all the materials together and all the effort may well end up in a rejection letter. However, you shouldn't give into the temptation to pass up the application. As attorneys, we make the best arguments for our clients and leave it to the judge or jury to decide whether the argument is persausive enough or authoritative enough to win the day. There are very few cases that will be absolute winners. Each case will have its merits and its deficiencies and you make the best case possible for your client. The same philosophy should apply to your job search, especially since you are the client. In the job search, it is your job to apply and put your best impression forward. It is the employer's job to sift through the applications and decide who gets an interview and who doesn't. The easiest decision for the employer will be the one which doesn't have to be made because no application was submitted. I very much doubt you would make such a concession for your client and you shouldn't make such a concession for yourself. You never know what is on your resume that will catch the employer's interest. You never know whether there were too few applicants and that yours might have been one of the more outstanding applications. And you never know whether you have just the right amount of experience and background that the employer may take a chance to interview you and train you if necessary. In short, advocate for yourself in the job search as zealously as you would for your client in court. Leave it to the decisionmaker to weigh the merits of your argument. You never know which application will lead to that interview and that job offer. If you have any particular questions or issues you want covered, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Nilesh Patel, Career Advisor on April 14, 2006
This article appears in the categories: Career Services & Student Job Postings