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Dumb Job Applications
by Tag and Catherine Goulet

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Dumb Job Applications
Published with permission from FabJob.

You have probably heard that "thereís no such thing as a dumb question."

That may or may not be true, but we do know there is such a thing as a dumb job application.

So what do employers think is a "dumb" job application?

Employers have told us about lots of dumb things that job applicants do, and we have covered some of these faux pas in other articles such as 5 Ways to Turn Off Employers and 7 Cover Letter Mistakes.

Another dumb thing, which we have seen firsthand from hundreds of job applicants, is applying to people who can't possibly hire you.

Employers hire people who can help them achieve their business goals. Yet a surprising number of people who want to break into a new career are oblivious to employers' needs and will submit applications to any company they think may be even remotely related to the career they want.

For example, as a book publishing company, FabJob hires people who can help us publish books. In the past, we have advertised for individuals to fill positions such as Editor, Writer, and Sales Representative.

Even if we don't have current job openings, we appreciate receiving applications from people applying for positions related to book publishing or marketing.

But those aren't the only job applications we receive.

Job-seekers sometimes find our website through a search engine such as Google where they'll read that we have published books about how to become a fashion designer, a mystery shopper, or a model (among many other careers).

Then they will submit a job application to us such as the following:

  • I wish to be kept in mind for a position in the fashion design industry. I think my fashion ideas can include all the types of things wanted in todayís market, which is a good asset.
  • Now I am working as a construction secretary and I would like to have fashion modeling jobs.
  • I always wanted to become a fashion designer. I can think of a design in a second. I have a fetish for clothes. I hope to hear from you soon.
  • I'm currently in fashion school getting a BS in Fashion Marketing and would like more information about your company.
  • I would love the opportunity to discuss with you how I could fit in with FabJob in any capacity, and how you could benefit from my awesome fashion sense...

These are only brief excerpts from what in some cases are detailed applications that job-seekers have obviously spent time preparing and apparently are spending time tracking down places to submit online.

Aside from any grammatical errors in such submissions, what makes them particularly dumb is that the following appears  immediately above the form the applicant fills out on our website:

FabJob does not hire for the careers we publish books about (e.g. actor, cartoonist,  celebrity assistant, cruise ship worker, event planner, fashion designer, interior decorator, model, motivational speaker, mystery shopper, pop star, songwriter, travel writer, video game designer, wedding planner, etc.) and we cannot read or respond to applications for any of these jobs.

This statement is followed by a short list of "Do's and Doníts" to help applicants successfully apply for a job with us. Under a bright red "Donít" headline it says:

"Don't use the form to apply for any position not advertised on this page. For example, it is a waste of your time to apply to us if you want to be a fashion designer, mystery shopper, cruise ship worker, etc."

Then, to actually submit the application form at our website, applicants must choose which position they're applying for from a drop-down menu of the jobs we have available. So weíll receive applications for fashion designer jobs from people who have chosen "Writer" or "Editor" as the job they are applying for!

What is frustrating about receiving submissions like this is that our website has hundreds of free career articles plus FabJob guides with step-by-step advice on how to get hired for these careers, including how job-seekers can find contact information and apply to people who can hire them.

Yet, a surprising number of job-seekers would prefer to ignore good advice and submit a dumb application that wastes their time and the time of employers.

But thatís good news for you.

If you are the type of person who applies to people who can hire you, who reads the instructions employers give in their job postings, and who pays attention when you get good career advice, then you will be miles ahead of the job-seekers who are playing it dumb.

Click here to find the career of your dreams.

Tag and Catherine Goulet are founders of and authors of the book Dream Careers: How to Quickly Break into a Fab Job! Visit FabJob to discover how to break into the career of your dreams.

by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
Sisters Tag and Catherine Goulet are the Dream Career Experts. In 1999 they founded, a publisher of guides on how to break into a dream career, which has been visited by 50 million people. They have been featured giving career advice in media from ABC to and Woman's Day to the Wall Street Journal online, and their career advice appears frequently on the career pages at and They are authors of the book Dream Careers: How to Quickly Break into a Fab Job! Visit to discover how to break into a dream career.

Discover Your Dream Career and How to Quickly Break In! is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).

FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites.

Dream Careers

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