When should I not apply for a job?

When should I not apply for a job?
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Have you ever ask yourself “When should I not apply for a job?” Well, let me ask you a quick question.

What do you think is a better strategy for finding a position when you are unemployed?

1) Sending your CV off to as many job vacancies as possible, or
2) Sending it to just a few job vacancies that closely match your skill and experience levels.

Well if you answered number 1 then you have been doing it wrong! I have written about this before and I am guessing that I will write about it again. Applying to positions that you are not qualified for can actually negatively affect your chances of finding a job. Another great reason not to apply for these positions is to minimize the rejection factor. It is so demotivating to apply to positions day in and day out just to receive negative responses or no response at all in most cases. Why put yourself through this unnecessarily?

Right so now that we can all agree that it is not helping anyone by randomly applying for job vacancies lets discuss it in a little more detail. Here are my top 6 examples of when NOT to apply for a job advertised.

“When should I not apply for a job?”

1) You do not have the required qualifications.

If you read an advert for a job vacancy and see that you do not have the qualifications required please do not submit your application. This can refer to things like Tertiary Schooling or maybe a specific Drivers license code. Remember the advertiser will usually mention “qualification beneficial” if they are not dead set on it, otherwise take it as required.

2) You do not have the required experience.

This refers to areas of experience and years of experience. I know most you feel that this is a bit of a grey area, and you are probably right to a certain extent. By that I mean maybe if you do not have the exact number of years experience but you are close then it might be acceptable to try to submit your application. I don’t think anyone can tell you what the cut-off point is when it becomes unacceptable but perhaps you should take all the other points in this article into account when making up your mind.

3) You do not have the required skills.

Skills are usually job-specific, therefore if you have some experience in a position the chances are that you will fit the skill set. Even then, just read through the job description and make sure that you do have the required skills. More often then not candidates who are guilty of not having the skill set for a position are candidates who have just applied to every position they come across.

4) You live too far away.

Often this is not an issue in the Hospitality Industry as most positions are live in and offer a work cycle that makes traveling home possible, regardless of where home is. This is not always the case though, and I recently had a company based in the Eastern Cape looking for a candidate to work 11 days on and 3 days off cycle. Now to me, it becomes obvious that you need to live relatively close to the lodge to apply for this position, and a person living in Musina probably should not apply.

5) Your personality does not match the job requirements.

Here it starts to get a little difficult to know when we should or when we should not apply for a position. You need to be really honest with yourself, and if you are a serious, dedicated no-nonsense individual who prefers working alone, please don’t apply for a position that states “Candidates should be light-hearted, quirky and enjoy working in a team of like-minded individuals.” I know it is hard not to apply especially when the skills, experience, qualifications, and salary being offered seem perfect.

The problem is you will most likely get the interview and you will just be wasting your time and the interviewers time. Worst case scenario is you somehow get this job, it will not be long at all before your personality prevents you from doing your best work possible, this will usually end in a clash with management and possibly a bad reference to your name.

6) The companies culture and values do not match your own.

Right so this is most likely going to be very difficult to know before you apply, and more often then not you will discover this clash of values during the interview. So as a disclaimer here let me mention that this should maybe be under a separate Blog titled “when not to accept a job offer.” (I will get right onto writing that) But I still feel that it is worth mentioning here, for the simple reason that the Hospitality industry is a very small place. Word travels fast and we all know those organizations that cut corners and ……………. I’m not going to mention what else goes on, because you guys already know.

Now you might be OK with some of the questionable activities of certain organizations and that’s fine, no reason not to apply for a position with them. However, if you have a problem with the way a company conducts its business, don’t apply for a position there. Simple!

Now I need to make something else clear, these points that I have mentioned are not set in stone. There is a fair amount of grey area and common sense needs to be used. For example, if a job description for a vacancy states that applicants must have 5 years’ experience in a certain field and you only have 4 but you match the rest of the job description perfectly then it makes sense that you apply don’t you agree? Also if you have a wealth of experience it might be acceptable to apply for a position even if you do not have the required qualifications.

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The information contained on this website is simply aimed at providing readers with guidance on labour law in South Africa. This information has not been provided to meet the individual requirements of a specific individual. Bizcraft will always suggest that legal advice be obtained to address a person’s unique circumstances. It is important to remember that the law is constantly changing and although Bizcraft strives to keep the information up to date and of high quality, it cannot be guaranteed that the information will be updated and/or be without errors or omissions. As a result, Bizcraft will under no circumstances accept liability or be held liable, for any innocent or negligent actions or omissions which may result in any harm or liability flowing from the use of or the inability to use the information provided.


  1. Joy Cele
    March 4, 2021

    I would like to be advised on how to have/write a good CV even though I do not have any work experience.


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