Job-seekers worry about their qualifications for job openings, even though most job-seekers are qualified to perform multi tasks.
Qualifications are only part of the job-search puzzle. Qualified job-seekers get rejected every day. And here are some of the reasons for a qualified candidates to get rejected by employers.
Why Qualified Job Applicants Get Rejected
The candidate is qualified for the job opening that was published, but in the meantime the hiring manager has changed the spec dramatically. In the job ad, the company said they wanted someone with five years of experience — but now they want ten years!
An entry-level resume screener couldn’t see the applicant’s qualifications on their resume or application, not because they weren’t clearly indicated but because the entry-level screener doesn’t understand the words or their context.
A keyword-searching algorithm is doing the resume screening and the software can’t tell who’s qualified and who isn’t.
The applicant is so qualified that somebody on the employer side of the desk assumes they’re going to want too much money — so they reject the applicant without asking them “What is your salary target?”
The applicant is highly qualified but they’re missing one tiny bullet point that a weenie bureaucrat decided was an Essential Requirement for the job — even though it isn’t.
The applicant is qualified, but they don’t fit the profile that the hiring manager or an HR person had in mind for the new hire — whether it’s their age, their educational background, or some other irrelevant factor.
The applicant is qualified but their experience comes from a different industry, and the unsophisticated person screening resumes in or out cannot see the relevance of their highly-relevant background.
The applicant is qualified but they’ve been out of work for a while, so their application is rejected automatically.
The hiring manager decided to hire an old college buddy instead of you or one of the other highly-qualified people who applied for the job.
The hiring manager is holding out for a highly-qualified applicant who is also willing to work for a below-market salary.
You can see that your qualifications for a job opening are not a guarantee that you’ll get a job offer, or even an interview. What can a frustrated job-seeker do?
Have any of these scenarios happened to you? Okay, here are five steps to take right now:
Get some consulting business cards at Vistaprint or any office supply store. You are more than a job-seeker: you are a consultant! Consulting even a few hours here and there will grow your flame, grow your network and credibility and serve as a powerful entry point to full-time positions you would never hear about otherwise.
Stop thinking about your background in terms of years of experience and skill sets, and ask this question: “What kind of Business Pain do I solve for employers?” You have to know what kind of pain you solve, what that pain costs organizations and how it presents itself. That knowledge is your power in the hiring equation!
Use your network to help you find a new job — get out at least twice a week to have lunch or coffee with people you already know, and go to a networking event a couple of times a month or more to meet new people!
Finally, don’t get discouraged when you’re quickly rejected from a recruiting pipeline. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you — there isn’t. It means that particular employer doesn’t deserve your talents, at least not right now.
The world is big. You don’t have to base your job search off the job ads you see published. You can reach out to any hiring manager you want. You can make a Target Employer List and start writing Pain Letters to hiring managers right now!