Articles, Blog Post (Eng), Blog Posts

Job-Hunting: Why Being (Too) Smart Could Destroy Your Chances to Get a Job?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably smart.


Because most people who want to improve their skills and take action (like reading the content of specialised websites*) are smart.

*for the new readers, this blog helps people to get jobs & sponsors in Australia

But being smart has one big downside.

It makes you vulnerable to intelligent procrastination, one of the deadliest time-consuming error in job-hunting.

You may be focusing your energy on the wrong methods, the ones that do not get results.

One example of intelligent procrastination: online applications

One could think: if I want a job, I need to apply to jobs. So let’s apply where all the offers are: online.

First, that’s wrong: 80% of job offers are not online but what in the hidden job market.

Second, without a proper strategy, online applications lead to 95%+ rejection.

Let’s do some numbers here – if you don’t like maths, just jump the next 3 paragraphs. If you’re an engineer, like most of my readers, you’re probably OK with calculation and real-life examples.

Let’s say you spend 20h / week at job-hunting for a month. If you apply online, let’s assume you’re sending 4 applications per hour: you will have applied to 300+ job applications in a month. At a 95% rejection rate, only 15 may consider you. Of them, 5 will keep you in the waiting list, 5 will stop at the HR phone screening interview and you may go through the final round in 1 or 2 cases … all of that for more than 80h of work!

Instead, you could spend this time in networking events and taking coffees with peers and mentors.

With 80 hours in a month, you can go to 12 networking events (4h per event, 3 times per week) and have 32 informal discussions (1h each). This means you would meet 60+ people every month, each of them which could lead to a formal interview for an offer not even published yet!

Final numbers: 2 interviews VS 60 deep contacts in your industry that could each lead to an offer not yet published.

Conclusion: don’t be trapped by intelligent procrastination.

And stop to apply to every single job on Seek.

Focus your intelligence and time on what matters: meeting other people and developing your network.

PS: here I highlighted only one example of intelligent procrastination.

There are many other ways to work “for nothing”:

– spending hours on one sentence of your CV (just decide in 10mn or even better, find how to say it in my guide)

– learning new stuff to “keep updated” on the latest technology (when you want to learn a new coding language every month, you know you’re going too far)

– waiting for someone to come back to you and dreaming of what could happen instead of contacting other people and actually increasing your odds to get a job.

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