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I'm currently a software developer in a junior position. I know people in similar positions to me that have just accepted jobs paying a lot more.

I like my current job and have no intention to leave any time soon but I wonder if I could potentially be doing/earning more.

Would it be wrong of me to apply for some jobs just to see if I'm even worth a response? I'm worried in case I do get a response back and then I don't bother replying, the company will put me on some sort of 'waste of time' list which could affect me in the future if I am looking to move companies.

Okay after reading the responses... definitely not going to be doing this:)

  • Are you on LinkedIn? – Phueal Aug 15 '18 at 17:14
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  • What exactly do you hope to gain here? An ego boost? Can't you tell whether you'd be a good match for a job based on a critical read of the job description, and checking how well your skills match up to what's written there? And how much do you expect your resume to tell them? No-one will hire you based on an application alone, people generally care more about you actually having skills than where you worked (which is what interviews are for). The response rate for applications tend to be fairly low anyway, so would you be able to tell the difference between low and very low? – Dukeling Aug 15 '18 at 20:21
  • Also, do you know how recruiters work? A recruiter wanting to talk to you doesn't mean that much in terms of your fit for a job (typically it means some non-technical person who probably knows a whole lot less about the potential job than you do thinks you'd be a good fit based on some matching keywords on your resume and the job). If you're applying directly to the company instead of through a recruiter, this may or may not apply. – Dukeling Aug 15 '18 at 20:28
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I'm worried in case I do get a response back and then I don't bother replying, the company will put me on some sort of 'waste of time' list which could affect me in the future if I am looking to move companies.

If that's your worry, then you shouldn't apply.

FWIW, if I got a resume, read it, short-listed it, invited you in for an interview, and then you couldn't be bothered replying, I'd never invite you back.

I suspect many other hiring managers would do the same.

Don't waste your time and the time of others. Wait until you are actually seeking a new job. Then apply to one which actually interests you. You'll quickly learn if you are "worth a response" or not. And you'll be in a position to do something about it either way.

  • "I suspect many other hiring managers would do the same." - except he has a 99% chance not to talk to a hiring manager but to a recruiter. here is the not calling back: I start insulting recruiters from certain companies now in the hope the damn put me on a black list because the only alternative to have them stop calling me is to take a lawyer. They do not get it. They ***** keep calling. – TomTom Aug 15 '18 at 17:45
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    As a hiring manager I appreciate this. Don't waste your time and the time of others. – Mister Positive Aug 15 '18 at 18:34
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    +1 If your goal is simply to find out if you're being underpaid or if you could be making more somewhere else, try GlassDoor or LinkedIn premium. – AffableAmbler Aug 15 '18 at 22:25
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That you should not waste others time has already been mentioned.

The really worrying part in your post is the phrase "to see if I am even worth a response". If you try to gauge your worth based on interview appointments you will probably needlessly damage your self-esteem. Hiring managers invite or do not invite based on all sorts of factors, and your "worth" is not necessarily one of them.

If you take unanswered letters or rejections in interviews personal then you should probably not needlessly expose yourself until you have become a little more stable in your opinion of yourself.

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I don’t think getting an interview really shows what you’re worth, that will be reflected in the job you do and your achievements in your current job etc. You can gauge an average salary for your job using certain websites and by getting an idea of the salaries for similar jobs, e.g Advertised salaries on job sites. If you google something, for example “average salary for junior software engineer for in London” you’ll come across a number of useful resources.

By applying for jobs that you have no intention of proceeding with, you’re wasting both your time and the time of the recruiter.

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There is nothing wrong with applying to other companies when you are satisfied with your current position. If you had absolutely zero interest in working for a particular company, then applying there would waste your time and theirs, but you note that you

wonder if I could potentially be doing/earning more.

Which reads to me like you would make the move if you felt the opportunity offered more to you.

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It depends on your goal.

If your goal is to determine if you are worth a response, that answer is most likely going to be a yes for any job posting that you are at least eligible for. Since you are currently employed, you already have worth to an employer as it stands. You would likely at least have this same value to another employer, if not more as long as the job position is similar to your current skills. If you were not worthy of a response you either a.) Are applying for a position that you are not qualified for b.) are facing some very stiff competition that vastly beats your qualifications or c.) Need to work a bit on your resume so that it reflects the current skills that you have to offer, and how you can fulfill this position.

If your goal is to see how much you can get offered at another job, you would likely need to follow through their entire interview process until you receive an offer. Few companies will just tell you what the pay will be right off the bat, and even if they do, there is usually room to negotiate upwards. Once you get some offers you would know how much another company is willing to pay you. You could also look online to see what people with similar qualifications to you are making in your area, or do some searching to find what you are worth.

To answer your question though, I would say no. It is a waste of your time and the company's time for them to review you as a candidate and then ask you on for an interview only to have you decline. This also will not allow you to get the information you want, which seems to be "how much am I worth?" I would recommend you to either take the interview and see if you can get an offer, or do not bother applying at all and look for this information elsewhere.

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I'll follow with some information that will be useful to you.

I understand your curiosity and agree that it is important to be relevant in your field but I believe this approach will not satisfy your curiosity.

The average rate of rejection is 98%. Even if you are qualified. Especially if your field is popular.

Imagine this: A paper representation of you is overlooked. Should you feel bad? Maybe, but probably not. There are a number of potential reasons for your resume being overlooked:

  1. there are many candidates, the manager did not even get a chance to read your resume
  2. there are many qualified candidates and someone got a head start with the exact same qualifications.
  3. You are not qualified
  4. You are so unqualified as to be rendered unworthy of a response.

98% chance of rejection, via response or lack there of. Add a 1/4 chance (roughly speaking) that the reason is because you are not worthy.

There is a 24.5% chance you did not get a response because you are unworthy of one.
If we combine possibilities 3 & 4 into one possibility, there is still only ~32.5% chance it is because you are unqualified.

So we see that via this method, your curiosity will inevitably lead to more curiosity - were you rejected because of you or their situation? How will you know? You cannot know.

How can you ensure that you are worthy? First of all, you are worthy. You're a human being and clearly intelligent enough to be a software developer, so the question of are you worthy was answered before it was asked. You are clearly capable of success.

If you want to really crush the possibility of unworthiness - use the time you would have been applying to improve your skills as a software developer. Take an online class in a new programming language, review complicated logical formats. Reorganize your approach, even just to see what that might look like. You will improve in the process.

Constant improvement will render the possibility of unworthiness impossible.

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    5. You are qualified, but there's just something in your profile they didn't "like", or they liked someone else's profile better. 6. You got filtered out by an automatic system or some automatible person, for e.g. lacking a keyword, despite the fact that anyone in the same role would say you're qualified. – Dukeling Aug 15 '18 at 21:53
  • Probabilities don't really work the way you use them in your answer. You can also say 1. You're not qualified, 2. You're so unqualified... 3. There's some other reason, which would give you a 65% chance of being unworthy. – Dukeling Aug 15 '18 at 21:57
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Would it be wrong of me to apply for some jobs just to see if I'm even worth a response?

There is nothing wrong about throwing applications out to various employers from time to time, even if you are completely satisfied in your current role. In fact, you should probably interview from time to time to keep your skills up, make sure your resume is updated, and to keep in touch with the market. Sometimes, you might be surprised by the reponse you get.

However, that is a different case than having no intention of even replying / going to the interview. In this case, you did waste a lot of effort for you and other people where it could have been spent doing something potentially more constructive.

I'm worried in case I do get a response back and then I don't bother replying, the company will put me on some sort of 'waste of time' list which could affect me in the future if I am looking to move companies.

I wouldn't be surprised if this happend on some of the cases where you did this.

  • Are you saying "interview even if there's absolutely no way you'd accept an offer" or "interview even if you're fairly sure you won't accept, but there's a chance that you might"? – Dukeling Aug 15 '18 at 21:00
  • I was trying to say that OP should interview even if they are fairly sure they won’t accept, but there’s the chance they might. Interviewing or applying with the intention of completely ignoring the whole thing is not particularly productive. – Joshua Rowe Aug 15 '18 at 22:16

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