Looking for a new job can be a daunting, draining, soul crushing experience. However if you establish realistic expectations you can approach the rejection and struggle philosophically rather than personally and hopefully not succumb to depression.
Please consider the following before you start pounding the pavement so that you don’t start pounding your head against it.
You might suffer through a long application process – So you’ve just found a great job online you feel is perfect for you? You apply and find that you’ve entered an arduous process that little helps your job seeking fatigue. Fifty-four percent of HR professionals report that their organization’s application process takes over 20 minutes to complete! Keep in mind that on average every online job posting receives about 200 resumes. Before you enter into 20 minutes of online hell and compete with 200 other blokes, ask yourself, “Do I really want this job?” and “Am I really qualified for this job?” If you can’t answer “yes” to either of those, then don’t waste your time.
You probably won’t find a job online – The majority of open positions aren’t advertised online and according to a 2014 survey by CareerXroads, only 15 percent of jobs were filled through job boards. Most candidates are sourced from within or from referrals. Networking therefore may be a better use of your time.
You probably won’t hear back from the employer – A Careerbuilder survey suggests that three-fourths of job candidates never hear back from the employer after applying or they receive no more than an automated response after hitting “submit”. Yes, though this lack of employer action may be unprofessional, you should not take it personally. If you are holding your breath with crossed fingers and refreshing your inbox repeatedly, you will be disappointed if not frustrated.
You weren’t rejected because of who you are – Automated systems often filter out about 75% of the candidates who apply through them and much of this rejection is based solely on the lack of keywords in your resume. If a company shows no interest in your online application, don’t take it personally. Chances are a human never saw your resume to begin with and even if they did, they spent on average only six seconds getting to know it.
You may not have been rejected for lack of skill – You may have all the skills in the world but today, as unfair as this sounds, cultural fit is given more consideration during the hiring process. A study of 500 organizations found that 82% felt cultural fit was an important measure in the hiring process while seventy-five percent of respondents believed cultural fit was a good predictor of success. Understand though that fit is a two-way street. If they don’t feel you are a fit for them, they may not be a fit for you either. Learning that up front is perhaps best for your career.
Hiring managers barely look at your resume – Hiring managers and recruiters look at your resume, as mentioned above, for a mere six seconds. During that time they only look at your name, current position, previous position and education. Make sure your resume is formatted in such a way that this information can be accessed quickly to best maximize the time they spend on you.
You may be requested to take a video interview – Dozens of video interviewing providers now litter the hiring landscape as employers seek to hire more efficiently and effectively. If you are invited to take a video interview, do not panic and certainly do not feel slighted you weren’t immediately invited into the office. You have been invited because your resume interests them. You have passed the skills audition and the video interview is your chance to let your personality shine. Read, “4 Reasons Why Job Candidates Should be All Over Video Interviewing.”
A job search is more a marathon than a sprint. Understand these six points and you just may have the endurance to make it to the finish line.
On the surface hiring should be simple. An organization advertises a job, a group of qualified applicants apply for the job and from that pool the recruiter/hiring manager selects the best person for the position. Maybe in the old days that’s how the process worked but not so much now. Continue reading “The Catch-22 That’s Destroying the Hiring Process!” »
Do you know what a black hole is? Basically a black hole is a spot in space that is so dense it creates a gravitational pull so powerful that not even light can escape. In other words, once you get sucked in, you’re not coming out.
Until recently black holes could be examined only through literature, movies and the theoretical imaginings of scientists far smarter than I. However, startling research in the last twelve months has uncovered the existence of black holes much closer to home than originally hypothesized. As it turns out black holes have been forming within HR organizations for some time and have grown steadily bigger as the job market has worsened. A direct correlation appears to exist between the number of unemployed workers and the intensity of the black hole’s gravitational pull.
Let’s break down this phenomenon and clearly examine what is occurring. As the economy worsens, more and more unemployed people hit the job market and apply for the scarce number of job openings. These online job postings, whether posted to a job board or on a company’s website, are then inundated in some instances with hundreds of resumes. Qualified candidates are clicking “submit,” but their online applications are often drawn into a void from whence corporate replies rarely come. According to a survey conducted by The Talent Board, a non-profit seeking to improve the job application process, only 1 in 10 employers say they respond to every candidate. “You’re submitting your résumé to a black hole,” concurs Dr. John Sullivan, a human resources consultant for large companies who teaches management at San Francisco StateUniversity.
Some companies like Google, Proctor & Gamble and Starbucks, which alone had 7.6 million applicants last year, have 150 to 500 people apply to each open position. Perhaps the largest known job black hole on record was described by Peter Cappelli, a Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Human Resources at Wharton. His continuous research into the job market revealed a black hole at a staffing firm so large it swallowed 25,000 job applications for a “general engineer” position. Though the belief is that a small percentage of the applicants did receive a reply of some sort, not one resume out of 25,000 resulted in a hire.
Can job candidates do anything more than click “submit” and say a prayer when sending their resumes into the abyss? “You need to have (current) employees make referrals for you if you want to find a job,” suggests John Sullivan.
Black holes affect not only the candidate but also the hiring organization. Top talent enters but fails to exit the black hole on the hiring manager’s side seemingly disappearing into an ATS wormhole of sorts. Job openings then remain vacant. As a result big companies like Ernst and Young are adopting Dr. Sullivan’s referral suggestion and are increasingly using their own employees to find new hires. Employee referrals now account for 45% of their non-entry hires and they hope to reach 50%.
The referral behaves much like a homing beacon or tether between the applicant and referring employee. The resume can journey through the black hole quicker and with greater success. Riju Parakh, for example, a passive candidate not even looking for a job, was hired by Ernst and Young within three weeks after receiving an employee referral while thousands of other weekly applicant resumes wallowed untouched in the darkness.
Though I write this post with a bit of jest, resume black holes are very real and increasing. Be careful not to let your resume blindly go where thousands of others have gone before.