We’re not in a job market where the old, random, low-hanging fruit job search techniques work well - it’s just too competitive out there. Successful job seekers today learn they have to search smarter and spend their time controlling what they can control.
Instead, why not focus your energies on what you can control? Isn't that enough to keep you productive?
Uncontrollable Factors In Job Search:
- Number of other applicants: Expect the number to be large, perhaps in the thousands. With those kinds of numbers, you can bet you’re not the only qualified candidate. Even if you are the best qualified candidate, will you get through the pre-screening process, or will many less-qualified candidates be seen first?
- Qualification of competition: You can’t control how others present their qualifications. Recruiters will tell you, that it’s not the best candidates who get interviews - it’s the best candidate resumes they see (out of hundreds ... or thousands).
- Personalities and mood of decision makers/influencers: You can’t control whether someone is having a bad day. Odds are, your audience may have a bad day occasionally when it’s inconvenient for you.
- Agenda of hiring manager: The hiring manager likely has many things on their plate, which often conflict. You can’t control the hiring manager’s priorities of time and budget - all you can do is gain a clear understanding of them.
- Urgency of hiring manager: Even if you’re told that a hiring manager is planning to make a decision soon ... your idea of soon may be different than theirs. To them, soon may be next year. The word “immediate” means different things to different people.
- Agenda of recruiter: If you are reaching the company through a recruiter, they probably have their own agenda ... and it’s not likely the same as yours. You can’t control the recruiter’s agenda. The best you can do is to gain a clear understanding of what really is driving the recruiter.
- Changes in budget: Especially in tight times, budgets are fluid and can change quickly. The job that a hiring manager is rushing to fill may get pushed off by slower than forecast sales - and it’s out of your control.
- Business doesn’t wait for you: While an employer is searching for candidates, the world hasn’t ground to a halt - business still goes on and things change. Old problems get solved, new problems arise, priorities change. Any of these non-controllable issues can change the game.
- Changing skills gaps = changing needs: As business continues during the search process, personnel may change. Other employees may quit, get transferred, and new employees may be hired. Any of these issues can change a hiring manager’s requirements as they seek to fill gaps in needed skills. These skill changes rarely show up on a job description or ad.
- Communication between hiring manager and HR or recruiter: Candidates routinely get angry when HR or a recruiter doesn’t know what the hiring manager wants - because things change. The communication between hiring manager and HR or recruiter is typically poor, and gets worse the more time a search takes (leaving more time for needs to change).
( Continued ... Focus On What You Can Control - Controllable Job Search Items #1 - #10: )
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