Most job seekers consider it a win if they hit the ground running in their job search. The more cover letters sent, the better, they surmise. Our own Cheryl Hyatt points out that if you act before you think, you could sabotage your own success. In her article in eCampus News, Hyatt writes:

There is an urgency to most job searches. Perhaps you are between positions and feel the lack of schedule—as well as the financial strain. Or, you may be stuck in a job that makes you miserable. Regardless of the circumstances, you are looking for another job because you are ready for a change. That energy can be harnessed for a productive search. Yet if you’re not careful, that restlessness can lead to hasty actions that land you in a job that’s a poor fit. 

Before you begin frantically applying for every job you see, it is imperative that you take a beat to clarify your goals. A seasoned golfer does not start hitting the ball until she first locates the hole, evaluates the conditions, and selects the most effective club. With a clear understanding of what you are aiming for, you can make strategic, informed decisions. Prior to any application, schedule an interview with yourself. Once you have clarified your goals, you will know if you should apply for this job or focus your attention elsewhere.