How Not to Get a Job…Or Even Be Considered for an Interview

Posted: January 27, 2023 in General Things about Quintessential Leadership
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What Are People Who Are Hiring Looking For?

job-application-thequintessentialleaderMany job applicants wonder why they never hear anything back from the job sites where they apply for so many jobs. You may be one of those who have submitted seemingly hundreds of job applications and never even got a nibble of interest. As a leader, I’m on the other side of those job applications, and I’ll give you some tangible reasons why and some guidance on what to do about it.

Your job is looking for employment, so you need to treat it the same way you would an actual job. Sloppiness, irrelevance, and slap-happy work habits will ensure you won’t be employed for long. The same applies to how you seek employment.

Read the Job Description

Before you start applying for a job, read the actual job description. If I’m advertising a job for a technical writer, for instance, I’m not going to even consider someone who doesn’t have technical writing experience (even if you’re a successful novelist!). If I am looking for a very specific type of technical writing, I’m not going to consider any technical writers who don’t have that specific experience.

Your Resume Should Reflect the Experience Required for the Job

If you’ve read the job description and you have the exact type of experience the job requires, make sure your resume reflects that experience. If I’m hiring a financial analyst, I want candidates whose resumes have specific details about their experience as financial analysts. I don’t care about anything but that, so telling me you’re a certified wings master for a wings restaurant or that you have a history of sales for funeral supplies will lead me to reject your application and move on to the next candidate. It’s a simple law of demand and supply. If you can’t supply my demand, I’ll find someone who can.

Complete All the Tasks Required to Apply for the Job

Many jobs require some sort of assessment test to be completed as part of the application. When I am hiring, the first thing I do to weed out applicants is to reject applicants who did not complete the tasks required to apply for the job. Why? Because the applicants (a) didn’t care enough to complete all the tasks; (b) thought they shouldn’t have to complete all the tasks; or (c) just blew all the tasks off. If you walk through the entryway not caring, thinking you don’t have to do everything required of you, or blowing off requirements, that’s how you’re going to approach a job. Nobody wants that person on their team.

Include a Cover Letter That Reflects the Job Advertisement

This is not a guarantee that you will get hired, but it shows me that you took the time to carefully read it, think about it, and then address how your experience matches up with it. When we’re hiring, we’re often looking through hundreds of resumes. A cover letter can make you stand out from the crowd. A well-crafted cover letter that matches the talking points of the job posting may get you in the door even if you don’t have the exact experience I’m looking for.

Don’t Waste My Time

If you don’t have the experience, don’t apply. Find jobs that match your experience, and apply for them. When you apply for jobs for which you have no experience, you are wasting your time, and, more importantly, you’re wasting someone else’s time.

  1. mepeep says:

    Excellent, straightforward advice!


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