Monday, October 24, 2011

When NOT To Apply

We're all busy.  If you're like me, you get to your desk in the morning and immediately start trolling through your emails.  Usually there are dozens waiting.  Whatever your chosen profession, you must zip down through the subject lines to determine the order of importance in regards to response. Normally you immediately delete the junk, open the urgent notices and categorize the rest. Being a Recruiter, the top of my priority list goes to resumes that were submitted the night before. (and of course, anything from my boss)

Since Recruiters often use the major job boards to post opportunities, many of the resumes we receive will come from people submitting through the specific job board they use.
Unfortunately there is a growing trend of submitting a resume for a job even if you do not match the requirements provided in the job description.  I mentioned this briefly in a previous blog but I am going to elaborate here. 

Lately, if I receive 50 resumes from the job boards, a full 50-75% of them will not match the required qualifications of the job.  Due to the economy, there are so many people that are desperate to find work that in their desperation it appears they review a subject line without reviewing the job description and apply in hopes of obtaining any work.  A few years ago I was taking the time to email each person thanking them for their resume and explaining they did not have necessary qualifications.  Sadly, now I just delete these resumes because I do not have time to respond to them all.

This process is a major time-suck both for Recruiters and for applicants.  If you are not qualified for the position you are applying to, you are wasting time that could be spent applying to appropriate opportunities.  If a Recruiter has to wade through dozens of resumes to get to the one that has the desired qualifications it is a waste of their time as well. 

Here are a few suggestions to navigate the job boards: 
1.  Be VERY specific when you are searching for jobs.
     a.  Make sure to use key words when you search, even if you are searching a specific geographical
     b.  Set up searches so that any new positions matching your qualifications will be sent to your
          Sometimes you might be using a keyword that means different things in different industries
          so by reading the full job description you won't mistakenly apply for something that isn't
          a match for your qualifications.
3.  When in doubt, add a cover letter.
         If you have found a job posting and you aren't 100% sure that your qualifications are a match.
         Add a cover letter when you submit your resume providing an over-view of your experience
         and inquire if the position might be right for you.

A perfect example would be when I posted an opening in the Dallas market for Healthcare Technology Trainers.  The job description clearly stated that prior Healthcare Technology Training experience was a requirement, yet 99% of the resumes I received were Dallas area school teachers.
Had the respondents read the entire job description they would have realized that the position was not Teaching but was Technical Training in a healthcare environment.

If you find a position that is not a fit for your qualifications but is in a similar industry and you would like to find out if that company might have an opening that is a match for you.... DO NOT submit your resume to that position via the job boards. DO... visit the company's web site to review their job openings.  That way, if they do have something that is a match for you, you can apply directly to their site.  If not, I suggest emailing your resume directly with a cover letter stating your qualifications and your desire to be considered if they have any opportunities arise in your area of expertise. 

Some job boards offer automatic resume submittal.  Basically, if a job is posted that ticks specific key words you've chosen, your resume will automatically be submitted.  I strongly recommend against this option because it is not a fool-proof method and most of the time your resume will be sent to positions that are not a match for you.  The best way to find new employment is to dedicate a few hours each day to scouring the internet, newspapers, local and national staffing agencies.

Remember that Recruiters want to fill the job openings as much as you want to find a job... so with patience and attention to the details, you will find what you're looking for!

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