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Job Seekers: It's Time for a New Perspective

As I was on my daily walk this morning, something that Erica Larson said during our recent sit down for the podcast had stuck with me. She said that studies have shown that men tend to apply more often to roles in which they may only meet 60% of the job's requirements.

As I pondered that, I also thought about the gripes I hear from candidates about the lack of feedback or the automated emails they receive after applying. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty to fix there, but there's more to the story from the other side.

Understanding this will help you better navigate your next job search and, most importantly, provide you with realistic expectations and a better way to focus your search.

Here are my thoughts as I was walking today:

I walked a little further and felt I needed to follow it up with a PS, so here you go:

More on this riff...

I talk a lot about my time as a recruiter and the disenfranchisement I felt when someone’s career and life became a transaction. But it goes both ways.

Candidates aren’t free of blame.

They feed into this transactional system. They do this by applying to numerous jobs. Jobs in which they only meet part, not all, of the requirements that are clearly stated. They are listed as requirements for a reason. But part of the problem is how easy it is to apply in most instances. This floods companies and recruiters with resumes.

Job seekers should be more intentional about their search. What I mean if you're essentially throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks it will come across that way to the companies you're applying to. You're taking a gamble but you have nothing to lose. If you get a phone interview, recruiters can sense your unintentional approach. Remember, they talk to thousands of people each year. They become very good at reading between the lines when speaking with people. They pick up things that to a layperson would almost make them seem like Yoda.

When you're intentional about where you apply, why you're applying, how your skills and experience perfectly match all of the requirements listed, then it's easier to get noticed. It's more obvious to the person on the other end.

Think about the next time you get mad when you don’t get a reply or you get an automated reply from the company or recruiter. Were you intentional about the job you applied to? Did you make sure your resume told a story that perfectly aligned with that role?

Recruiters are an easy target. However, it’s time to become empathetic in your job search. To understand what happens after you press send and go back to whatever you plan to do next that day. Being intentional will be noticed. Being unintentional will get you automated replies or worse, silence.

P.S.S. - I also realize that you may have an opportunity to move up the 'corporate ladder' at your current company but other circumstances exist like wanting to move closer to family, or the company isn't a culture fit for you. However, without established relationships at the organizations you're applying to or some form of personal brand that you've established in an industry or market, you're an unknown commodity to them. A risk to hire into an important role that you've never done before and without any context they have of you other than a resume.

Sometimes, as I mentioned, you have to take a step backward or laterally in order to take two steps forward and up. It takes a willingness to sacrifice the short-term combined with the confidence and belief in yourself.