Is applying for a frequently re-advertised job a waste of time?

Friday December 25 2020
By Caroline Mboijana

Dear Caroline,
There’s a company that is always advertising the same position. Don’t they ever get the right person or do they keep firing the people in that role?  Myself and a few other people that are qualified have all ever applied for a such frequently re-advertised job but have never been short listed yet we believe we meet all the requirements so we keep wondering why this job is always back on the job board. Is applying for such a job a waste of time? Prossie

Dear Prossie,
The purpose of advertising is to source for suitable potential candidates that can be assessed for a specific role.

  Repeat advertising maybe because the company has failed to find suitable candidates that fit the job specifications requirements. 

It could also mean employers have recognised a need to increase the manpower number. I cannot say whether it’s because staff are being fired. 

Certainly, seeing repeat advertising for the same role from the same company raises the question on both the role and the organisation. It would be prudent of you to conduct some due diligence to understand what the issues are before you apply for the role. 

 On the comment, you believe you meet the requirements and have not been shortlisted, you should initiate the conversation and ask the company to provide you with feedback on your application and suitability / match with the requirements for the role.

 This feedback should then be used to improve your application. You need to make sure, as you re-apply that you really want to apply for the same role after conducting the respective due diligence.  


The advice above addresses your concern about seeing repeat adverts. As a job seeker the practice of conducting research and due diligence on the organisation should be the norm before you make the application. This will save you from feeling frustrated. 

This background research and your findings should then be used to inform your final decision of whether to submit your application. The focus must always be about the organisation and not simply about the title of the job.  

Your research can be undertaken in different forms; through the website, this  is the easiest and quickest way to gather information about the company; if you have a network of friends who are informed about the organisation, you could also ask them. 

Take your time when responding to adverts, do the research, use the findings to inform your decision and then make the application.

Caroline Mboijana,
Managing Director,
The Leadership Team (U)