Job hunting in 2023?

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There you are, sitting in front of your computer with various job advertisements open in different tabs. You read through each one carefully, you visualise the position and it’s duties, and then you visualise yourself in the role. Does it feel like a fit? Is it what you are looking for? You make up your mind quick enough and either keep moving on or hit the ‘apply’ button. Every now and then, however, a job ad comes up that sounds perfect, a dream job; but there are a few key duties or a certain type of experience the recruiter is looking for in a successful candidate that you do not possess. You decide that you don’t tick their boxes. In fact, the boxes you need to tick for them are so far ahead of where you believe you are, that it’s a pipe dream to even be considered for the role. You dismiss the job with a sigh.

You just don’t believe you are able to get it, so why bother applying?!?

You close that link and continue on your job search, finding another role you can easily perform and is a safe bet. A safe bet is good. It will pay your bills, keep you busy during the day, but will it give you that additional experience you need? Will it challenge you to keep your days exciting? Will you feel fulfilled and will it help you in your career path? Most likely, the answer is no.

Here are four reasons why you should apply for the role, and some useful tips on how to boost your success in getting the position that you are worried is out of reach.

You could actually be qualified

Don’t immediately rule yourself out; you don’t actually need to be 100% qualified to a position to be considered for the role.

A job advertisement lists the main duties the successful candidate is required to perform, as well as highlights the type of experience and person the role needs. But not every single duty or characteristic of the person is set in stone. In many roles, there are some experiences that are flexible and companies are willing to overlook for the right fit. The only thing is, you don’t know which ones are negotiable or nonnegotiable for the company. So if you don’t apply, you may be missing an opportunity where perhaps your lack of experience is not a deal breaker.

On the job training can boost the almost perfect candidate, and companies know this. They know that there is no such thing as a “perfect person” and can be willing to bend the list of duties/experience for the right individual and train them up to be at a level they need.

So, how does one know if you are the right person for the job? Well, first you have to believe in yourself and that you are the right fit. Then, you need to express this in your cover letter and resume. Let your personality shine. Align your cover letter to the experience you do have that is as relevant as possible to what they are looking for, and explain how you believe you are the best person for the job. Describe your enthusiasm to learn and grow.  Remember, other people are reading this, not a computer. So social behaviour will come to play – understanding, relatability and responsive thinking will be the biggest guides to hiring managers. They will look at the human side of the applications, not just the technical. Whilst technical does play a main role, is it not the only consideration for a successful candidate.

Behaviour and cultural fit are just as important.

One-way to do this is by developing a relationship with the hiring manager. Make a phone call and talk to the person on the other side. Let your personality shine whilst highlighting your experience and what you believe you can bring to the company. Focus on your strengths, not what you are lacking.

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Stop selling yourself short

You are most likely hesitating to apply because you think “what’s the use, you are not qualified enough, you wont be given a second look”. This may be true; it could also be true for any role you apply to.

There could be hiring managers who believe you are ‘over qualified’ to a position you think is a safe bet. Or perhaps, someone with many more years experience over you has submitted his or her resume to a role you think you are a shoe-in for. There are no guarantees in anything in life.

Yes, your self-confidence could get a bashing here and there, you may get more than one rejection and your assurance in getting any job may start to fade. However, persistence is the key in the game of job hunting.

Just because one organisation does not think you are suited to their role, does not mean every organisation will feel the same. If you see a perfect position, don’t let past applications deter you from applying. Perhaps, the only thing that needs to change is your approach – resume revamp, phone call to the hiring manager, and a stronger cover letter.

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If it is inline with your career goals, then why shouldn’t you apply?

One thing hiring managers do not like are people who apply to every single role they see. It does not demonstrate very strong career goals; rather, simply playing Russian roulette with their job applications, hoping one will stick. So be mindful to word your cover letter in a way that shows you have put thought, commitment and purpose to your application. If the job indeed aligns with your career goals and is the next level in your career path, why wouldn’t you apply to it?

If your experience is really lacking, then at the very least, you know what the main goal is and you can start working towards it. You can take on some short courses, get a job that will provide you with additional experience and lead you to your dream role, and find some good mentors to guide you in the right direction.

You never know your luck in the big city

You do not know who else is applying. You may in fact be the best and most qualified applicant who has submitted their resume to the position. Whilst you may have cut yourself short, someone else has not. Their experience may be no different than yours, or even less, and are happily submitting their application. You don’t know the competition, stop guessing or assuming you are not a competitive candidate yourself.

Have you heard the saying ‘you have got to be in it to win it’? If you do not put in an application, then you 100% know the outcome – no job offer. However, if you put your best foot forward, as discussed above, then you have a chance to surprise yourself and progress in your career goals.

Happy job-hunting,

My Career Angels