Give Me A Chance?

Opportunity Knocks

Recruiters often ask job seekers, “What kind of work are you looking for?” The most popular (by far) answer is “Anything.”  The job seeker thinks this is a great answer because they think it’s showing their willingness to do whatever a company needs.  

The recruiter thinks, “This person is unfocused, doesn’t know what they want to do, and just wants A job, vs. THE job.”

It’s completely understandable that the general job seeker just wants a chance to show that they can:

  • Learn quickly
  • Be a team player
  • Add value because of their work ethic
  • Earn the opportunity to get a promotion right away or in the near future
  • The list goes on….

In the  state of mind of the unemployed job seeker ( facing minimal – if any – income, bills to pay, feeding family members, etc.), it’s hard to put into context the other side of the fence.

  • Why won’t they call me?
  • My work history is solid.
  • I have great references.

We hiring managers are in the position to make some decisions about what to factor in with regards to who fits where, while comparing the company needs to that position.  For you job seekers, here’s what we’re looking at, and possible reasons you might not be given that first or second phone call or interview.

  • Volume: For every job ad, there are often 50-100 or more applications that are received. It takes time for hiring managers to sift through the stack. That’s assuming they have time to get through the stack.
  • Competition: In that stack of applications stand at least a handful of qualified candidates (like you). Some of them have been doing the exact job more consistently, longer, or more recently than you.
  • Timing: That stack is 100 applications long. Sometimes the hiring manager gets through the first ten and finds the right candidate – even if you’re candidate number twelve or fifteen. You just might not have had the right timing.
  • Employee referrals:  This happens frequently. Someone who works there knows someone who’s looking for work. They refer them to the Hiring Manager. If Employee A is a good employee, chances are the Hiring Manager will entertain their referral because of Employee A’s performance and reputation.

It’s not just about whether you’re a good candidate for a particular position (over, under, or ultra-qualified). There are numerous other factors that can come into play as listed above.  That’s not even factoring in having your resume tailored to the job description, how you’re dressed when turning in your application, what your cover letter says, etc. It’s daunting for sure, but the more time you invest in doing it right, the better your odds the next time, or the time after that. Give your job search the attention it deserves in all aspects and you’ll increase your chances of earning that next opportunity – temporary, full-time, or otherwise.

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