You find yourself in the position of looking for a new job, which of course most of us hate. One of my candidates went so far as to say she would rather go to the dentist and get her car tabs renewed at the same time. That’s a pretty colorful description certainly and a shared opinion by many. The reasons for your search may vary from being your first job, the next step in your career, boredom, dissatisfaction for a myriad of reasons, all the way to just lost your job for one reason or another. Bottom line, you are looking and trying to figure out where to start. Do you slather the planet with your resume? Do you click on every ‘apply’ button you see in hopes that someone will call you?
Best advice, is no and definitely, no. More is not better for this situation. Some would certainly argue that the more you apply, the better your chances, but usually the opposite is true. It can potentially come across that you’re desperate.
Here are pitfalls for the click-happy behavior of apply, apply, apply:
The red flag candidate
When a hiring manager sees your application multiple times or for every job they have open, a common thought is, “Why hasn’t someone else hired you?” This could be a red flag candidate, so the best course of action is avoidance. Often a poor assumption, but the perception none the less.
The desperate candidate
If the impression is that you are desperate, it’s often that your application will be the last one considered. After all, if you so desperately want to work there, you will continue to wait. And they have the time to review other candidates. Sadly, if you are not working, this makes the wait even worse.
Cautiously submit your resume
Many positions that are posted on the web are from recruiting firms. And some recruiters may even post fake jobs online for roles they do not have permission to work on. And if a recruiter attempts to submit you to a role without an agreement with the employer, you will not be considered for the position, no matter how qualified you are. Not really fair, but fairly common. Be careful who you send your resume to. If they do not specifically ask for your permission to submit you to that employer, don’t give them your resume.
If you apply to everything, your ability to be represented by a reputable recruiting firm, like Johnson Search Group, could be eliminated. You may not even know who the company is but when you get submitted by the recruiter, and the company said you already applied, it can give the wrong impression. It may look as if you lied to the recruiter and the employer about not applying directly.
Tailor your resume
One size does not fit all for resumes. It is almost impossible for a blanket-the-earth-type resume to match all the requirements for every job you’re applying for.
You may not know what you are really applying for, and your resume in its current form may not hit the bells and whistles of their keyword match. You may have thought you made all the custom edits for the jobs you applied for, but how many times do you read a job description and your resume looks like an exact match, only to get a message back that you don’t meet the requirements? As a recruiting team manager, I hear this a lot. The reality is, most job descriptions are written by human resources and are often boilerplate descriptions. Seems counterproductive, but it’s the reality.
Giving the wrong impression
If you apply for everything, especially ones that you aren’t fully qualified for, you may forever brand yourself with that company in a negative light.
If you are hitting apply, apply, apply to all roles, the common thought process from a hiring manager could be, what other companies are you doing the same thing to? Are you someone who is going to jump ship the second something else comes your way?
If you’re currently employed and don’t want word getting back to your boss that you’re looking, never take the chance. I have talked to candidates who have done this and suffered the embarrassment of accidentally applying for a position with their current employer. One word is appropriate here – awkward, or in some cases even – terminated.
Do your research
If you are looking for a new position, my best advice is to do your due diligence. Utilize social media, for example, to find out who else works there that you may be able to introduce yourself to and they can become your advocate. If the name of the company you want to work for is not the exact match on the job posting, call the company to verify. It never hurts to be cautious.
Most companies offer a number or email address for their HR Department on their websites to call with questions. One of those questions could be, “Is the job description accurate?” Others are: “What is their interview and hiring process?” And of course, “Is the position still open?”
Let’s work together
If you are looking for a new position, and especially if you are confidentially looking, let’s get in touch. It could be the best contact you’ve made for your career.