Five Things to Think about Before You click 'Apply Now' : What Are you Really Applying for?

Friday, December 01, 2017

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We've all been there. It's time to start thinking about your next career choice. You upload your resume onto various job boards and press the 'apply here' button. You sigh in relief at how easy it is to apply for jobs nowadays and go on with your life.

As someone that is currently looking for a role in the field of marketing and communications, I have had my fair share of lessons when it comes to applying for jobs. As efficient as the one-and-done method of applying for jobs might be, you should be aware of what you are actually applying for. It's easy to get excited about a potential opportunity. The job meets your salary requirements, the location is close by to home, and they even state that there are opportunities for growth. So what is the big deal? 

There are a few key words, or as I like to say 'warning signs', that you should consider before applying for a role in the field of marketing and communications. Many of the jobs might look great from afar, but when you actually dissect the job description, you'll find that the only thing appealing is the job title itself and that the positions are sales jobs in disguise. Before you click 'apply now', here are a few warning signs that you should take into consideration. 

  1. Look at the title of the role: If they include 'Brand Ambassador', 'Brand Marketing Representative', or 'Sales and Marketing Representative' you might want to veer your mouse away from the 'apply here' button. Though these titles might look great on your resume, the majority of these roles include (but not limited to) door-to-door sales and/or selling merchandise at your local Sams Club or Walmart. 
  2. Research the company: Warning words include companies that end in 'Inc' or that use a play on words for the title of the company (for example EezyMarketing). Looking at the website will give you a  clear sign of what you are in for. Many of the companies will state that they work for multiple Fortune 500 companies but never site who they are and what they have worked on with them. Also look at staff pictures and see how long the company has been established for. Debate if you should consider it a 'pro' or 'con' if the entire staff is under the age of 30 years old. 
  3. Opportunity for growth: It is always great to find a company that says that they are invested in you. A warning sign for a company that is solely trying to hire you based on an elevator pitch will explain that the opportunity for growth is unlike other companies. They are based on the merit of growth rather seniority. There is nothing wrong with having a company be invested in you. What should be an issue of concern is the rate that you have grown in a short amount of time. Sure, you have worked hard, but is it really good to be promoted at a high paced rate of time in a span of a few months? Consider why promotions happen-and that they could be a depiction of the high turnover rate at that company. 
  4. The Salary: One of my big warning signs is how the salary is stated in the job description. In order tell if this is a sales job, rather than marketing or communications, the company will state a large pay range depending on the work you produce (aka sales). This is one of those pro/cons that you will have to decide individually if you can depend on a fluctuating salary that is commission based. 
  5. Glassdoor Reviews: I try not to look too often at Glassdoor Reviews, but I when I'm not 100% sure about a company this is a great way to gauge whether or not I should apply for a company. If the reviews or primarily negative, and a couple of my other warning signs have gone off, I am likely to not apply for the job. 

I should note that there is nothing wrong with sales jobs. As someone that has worked in the field of customer service for 5+ years, I have found aspects of the job to be highly rewarding. What I DO have a problem with, is the notion of companies misleading people into believing that they are working in the field of communications/marketing when they are indeed being coerced into the field of sales. Though it can be debated that the field of marketing and sales go hand-and-hand, applicants should be aware of what they are going into before they dive in head first. 

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