Overly picky or wisely selective job hunting

Well I’m spending lots of time monitoring the most recently added job openings on indeed.com, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and anywhere else that comes across my screen to make sure that I can be one of the first applications received. I’ve applied for 15 jobs in the last two days. Of the 15, I got excited about four or five, the descriptions of the others sounded like something I could do and be good at but nothing that immediately stood out as my “perfect job”. And that’s where I get unsure of things.

 The Conundrum 

     I’m currently unemployed and therefore have no income, I can live off savings for a little while but not for more than a few months. Part of the reason I went back to school for my Master’s was to be able to be a little more selective about the sort of jobs I take but I don’t know how much that hold true in my specific city and field in the current economy. The uncertainty of it all is unnerving, if I don’t apply for a job because it sounds less than exciting am I being shortsighted? I (like most people I think) perform best when I’m working on a project or for a company/brand I can get genuinely pumped up about. The idea of taking a job at a company/industry that I either know little about or find fairly boring scares me because I don’t know how much being passionate about what I’m marketing would impact my effectiveness. I’m aware that the position I go into is going to be entry-level or only slightly higher and I’m ok with that, I know I have a lot to learn and experience is going to be the only way to learn it. The question is, how picky can I be right now?  Do I apply for everything that might work for me and if I get an interview take the opportunity to hear more about the position that might make it more appealing to me while practicing my interview skills? Or do I start with applying and actively pursuing only jobs that make my heart skip a beat and continue down that road for a month or so then broaden my search to something somewhat in my field that makes enough to pay the bills?

 Yet another area of indecision is whether it would be wise to take an unpaid internship position. I did two internships during my undergrad years, one while I was studying abroad- Marketing Intern at Swansea University International Office and Special Events Intern at Greater Good Productions in Wilmington. Worked for year and a bit as Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A and then went back to school. My most recent internship was for the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon in Edinburgh as the VIP Coordination Intern. So with three internships (two of them international), a year and a bit of direct work experience in my field, and my BA and MSc degrees,  would doing another internship look bad on my resume? Like I couldn’t find anything more fulltime/long term so I settled for an internship?

 After much contemplation here are the conclusions I’ve come to:
  • I will apply for anything that I think I could do well at
  • If the company/brand doesn’t seem exciting but I think I can learn a lot from the position/company and if it pays what I need to make, I’d accept an offer
  • Interviews, even for jobs that don’t sound like a good fit, are good practice and maybe the interviewer says I’m not right for that job but after meeting me has another position that would be a better fit
  • Online job descriptions are often really vague and there’s a chance that the reality of the position is a much better fit for me than the description led me to believe, if I don’t apply I’d never be able to find out
  • I think the right internship (if I can find a way to afford to go unpaid) would be a really beneficial learning experience if it can help improve some of my less developed skills and could lead to a full-time position or at the very least, provides a great networking opportunity
  • I won’t take a “coffee-fetching” internship just for the sake of building my resume, it’d definitely need to be hands on
  • I would LOVE an internship at a marketing agency, any agency experience increases the likelihood of being hired at an agency in the future. It’s a completely different environment from anything I’ve been in so would provide more decisive insight into whether an agency position would work for me


With these decisions (maybe concluding thoughts is a more accurate way of describing them) it’s back to the job search I go. As always, I’d love to hear input/feedback/suggestions 

 Oh look! U.S. National Whitewater Center here in Charlotte is hiring a ‘Marketing Specialist’, now that’s a job I could get excited about.


Recent University of Edinburgh MSc Marketing grad and UNCWilmington Communication Studies alumus. Fascinated by branding, event, social media, and interactive marketing for business. Works at Eleven Mass Media

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