Ask PEGA : The Job Application Blues

Welcome to the first installment of Ask PEGA, an advice column for all PEGA-SIS members. Just a reminder all questions can be submitted here and will be answered on a rolling basis by our anonymous pool of upper and middle managers from law libraries of all types and sizes.

Q: What if I am not sure whether to apply for a job. Is it better to wait and be a potential late applicant or to apply even though I might withdraw along the way?

A1: Apply early. Your application is the start of a conversation – you may find a great job or you may find a good job that has practical drawbacks (relocation, salary, etc.) that mean you will withdraw. That’s fine. Just respect your colleagues on the search committee and let them know you need to withdraw as soon as you decide.

A2: Remember, you are interviewing them while they are interviewing you. Use the process to decide if the job is actually something that you want. If you do decide that you are not interested, you should notify the employer right away.

A3: If there is even a small chance you could take the job I would apply. The only instance I would not apply for a job is if I wasn’t sure I would want the job. For example, if I do not want to live in particular place, or something like that. Some people recommend applying for jobs anyway because you may find you love the place. I think this makes sense as long as there is a chance, however slim, that you may take the job.

A4: The wording of the job ad can be a guide here. If “review of applications begins” on a date, then go ahead and apply. The stricter the language is about deadlines, the less likely your application is to be reviewed, so you need to weigh how much time you’re willing to spend on the application against the likelihood that you’ll be successful (whether success is an interview or a job). I believe in the “shooting star” theory of job applications, where it only takes on success to make a difference, so I’m likely to encourage you to apply late, as long as you don’t need that time for something else.

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