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I am a young computer science student from Europe(20 y/o). I'm scanning job market to see potential future positions that I might want to apply for. Right now I'm working as a trainee for a large corporation. I will probably prolong the contract, so I'm not worried about losing my job; However, I am not sure if I want to work for this company for long period of time - I think that I'm young and I would like to explore different areas of CS, maybe go to another country and work there.

If I resign, I will be looking for a new job in some (distant) future. I would like, when the time comes, to try to get job in some of well-known companies(which I think would be hard to find job at). Now I wonder - let's be negative and say that I fail, and they reject me - could this decrease my chances of being hired later in future, when I get more experience? Given the situation, should I try to apply, or spend some time polishing my skills?

  • Question is unclear to me. Are you asking if it is okay to find a similar trainee job elsewhere - potentially in another country - as you continue to go to school? – Dan Dec 15 '15 at 17:54
  • @Dan I'm not asking about a trainee job. – MatthewRock Dec 15 '15 at 19:42
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You apply for jobs that fit your profile, interests and experience, regardless of where you are in your career or how old you are.

Say you wanted to apply to Google or Facebook or another well-known company. If you're a recent graduate, you'll want to apply with them for entry-level positions. If they aren't hiring entry-levels, there's no point in you applying as you'll be rejected out-of-hand.

If you have 2 or 3 years' experience, you'd no longer be entry level. Staying within IT, some refer to this profile as a "Junior Developer" or just "Developer" or "Programmer". If Google is hiring entry-levels and senior management, you still shouldn't apply: you're too experienced for the first and not experienced enough for the latter.

If you want to apply for entry-level but don't have the skills or education they require, then you should indeed wait to apply until you can demonstrate that you have those skills, either by attaining a bachelor's, diploma, certificate, or by having some other way to prove that you can do the job like independent projects or volunteer work.

Generally, a rejected application won't harm your chances to get hired years down the line, unless you somehow manage to burn a bridge. But that takes outrageous behaviour and a terrible attitude and you typically won't manage to screw a relationship up when you're not even interviewed. Applying for a position that's wildly outside your experience is quirky but not something that hiring managers will typically remember. Even so you shouldn't do it as it won't benefit you in any way.

  • Sounds reasonable. – MatthewRock Dec 15 '15 at 15:46
  • "Generally, a rejected application won't harm your chances to get hired years down the line, unless you somehow manage to burn a bridge. But that takes outrageous behaviour and a terrible attitude and you typically won't manage to screw a relationship up when you're not even interviewed." not at all true. If you come across as grossly incompetent they will remember it the next time you apply for a job. It doesn't just take outrageous behavior, it totally depends on the prospective employer's values. – 2rs2ts Dec 16 '15 at 23:34
  • @2rs2ts I'd argue that being grossly incompetent in your interactions with the interviewers/HR is outrageous behaviour. – Lilienthal Dec 17 '15 at 8:36
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If you applied and weren't offered a job, it probably wouldn't make sense to apply again for a while-- if the company didn't offer you a job in December, it probably won't reconsider in March. After a reasonable period of time, however, it won't affect a future application.

What is a reasonable time? It will probably depend on the company and the type of openings you're applying for. Generally, I'd expect that it wouldn't make sense to apply more than, say, once a year.

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