We all know the job market today is fiercely competitive. While the economies are turning around a bit, the market is still pro-employer. For the top jobs, you can easily expect more than 1,000 applicants. It’s a sign of the times.
Don’t be shy!
When reviewing job descriptions, you can expect to have most of the qualifications, but you’re not usually a 100% fit. I think the folks who write employment advertisements are thinking they are going to find the “dream” candidate – the person who meets every single qualification. This is wishful thinking.
While you might locate someone that looks perfect on paper, you generally get a totally different impression when interviewing the individual. The candidate might lack culture fit, or might request a salary that is out of range.
Apply to jobs that you really want.
Far too many people are randomly applying to positions for which they know little about the responsibilities. It’s imperative you know the expectations. Several of my colleagues are moving from San Antonio and taking jobs in other parts of the country.
One friend was hired as VP of a Florida-based IT company. He mentioned to me that the salary was $30K more than he was earning in San Antonio. Was the move worth it? The opportunity for growth is good, but his wife is concerned about a brand new start. The fact is that the extra pay might be a wash for at least the first few years.
Avoid thinking the job is too good for you.
A hiring manager told me that his company conducted an experiment in which they strategically placed two verbatim postings in the same job classified section of a major newspaper. The job title and qualifications were 100% exact, but the salaries listed were different: one $50K per year and another $250K per year.
The results shows that more than 800 people applied for the $50K position, but only 7 applicants submitted an application for the $250 job. In other words, the job seekers categorized themselves. They determined how much they were worth.
Fake it until you make it.
You must be open to growth. You should be prepared to accept work that is outside your current capabilities. This does not mean that you set up a medical practice treating live human beings after taking a few college-level biology classes. However, it does mean that you can assume a leadership position of a major medical hospital even if you only have a few years in the industry. Why not? If you have the passion and commitment to learning, this can be a win-win situation. You don’t have to wait until you’ve earned 10+ years of experience. It’s not necessary. There are mentors who can help you expedite the learning process.
There are many people who are waiting for the perfect position to fall on their laps. Unfortunately, the odds of this happening are about the same as winning the mega lottery.
I’m reminded of a quote that applies here: “To become someone different, start thinking of the person you want to be.”