You’ve been blanketing the internet with job applications, joining LinkedIn groups, networking with recruiters and hiring managers but reality keeps slapping you in the face.
But since you are a tenacious and perserverant chap, you keep trying: you join groups on LinkedIn, you keep applying to job boards, you beef up your networking efforts and you may make a stop here every now and then to ckeck if there’s something useful you can take out to enhance your chances of changing you boring job or retiring from unemployment.
And still, Slap!
You come to realize that something is not right: you, you are just not a good candidate as you believed so you commit suicide by shooting yourself in your ego.
Sounds familiar? It’s part of a -pretty much- universal cycle. Successive failures always end up on a negative feedback loop that damages your morale and perception of self.
If you are struggling with these feelings, know one thing: you are not the problem. Your hunting strategy is.
What you need to do first, is understand how recruiters work and what they live by: “know thy enemy”.
What recruiters do
Recruiters need to meet very express demands from hiring managers and clients. On top of that, they are measured by the quality and number of candidates that successfully make it through the interview process. In english, they don’t like risking their metrics -thus, bonuses and job performance- by sending someone who may be a good fit for the position and risk rejection: the candidate has to fit the mold.
The applicant pipeline (pool of candidates) is often visualized as a funnel and the bottom end of it is the recruitment process per se. When you apply for a job, you enter this funnel but this doesn’t mean that you are part of that process; this is usually where you get shortlisted.
A growing trend in Recruitment is switching the funnel mentality for the tunnel mentality in order to cut costs, save time and improve applicant quality. This translates into a narrowing down of the applicants that enter the pipeline -what once was a funnel, is now a way narrower tunnel-. For you, this means that your chances of being chosen to start a recruitment process are also “thinner”.
Components of a quality hire
A quality hire must have 3 attributes:
- Cultural fit: how compatible the candidate is with the company’s organizational culture
- Skills: what a candidate is trained to do
- Talent: what a candidate is born to do
Stop being a machine gunner and become a sharpshooter
First of all, fight fire with fire: if your funneling strategy was not being successful, switch to a tunneling one. Narrow down the scope of your resume and trim it so the experience displayed on it reflects the requirements of the job posting you are applying for.
Things to keep in mind: it’s time consuming and you will end up with more than a few versions of your resume but it’s still worth it as you may spend as much time shooting your only resume aimlessly at every job opportunity that comes close to what you want to do.
Secondly, if you don’t meet the requirements in the job description, don’t waste your bullets. This can be particularly tough when you are planning to do a career shift. If that’s the case, you may list skills pertinent for the job as transferrable skills before your work experience. Career switching is a completely different beast and you may need to resort to real life networking to score interviewing opportunities.
How to detect if you are culturally fit for a given company
Organizational culture is something that one realizes and experiences by being in company and it’s hard to assess from the outside. If you don’t know anyone on the inside -or for some reason do not want to contact anyone in touch with the company- visit the company’s career site.
Many companies are resorting to Employment Branding as a way of optimizing funnels. These companies go to great lengths to ensure that the picture that is conveyed to the applicant matches the company’s look and feel. Some companies even have online assessments to determine cultural fitness. Use assessments -when available- and browse the careers section as a way of weighing whether the company is somewhere you are interested in working at and if the company would be interested in someone like you.
The bottom line is that if you are not being successful in your job search, instead of firing at will you should try narrowing down your search and target those jobs and companies that are as close as a perfect match for you.
What’s your take?
Image credit, DVIDSHUB