This Common Mistake is Frustrating for Both Job Seeker and Recruiter


Both job seeking and recruiting can be frustrating endeavors. Both can require a ton of work that seemingly gets little results. Both can leave an individual overwhelmed, stressed and irritated.

Unfortunately, both sides can compound the problem by making mistakes that could be avoided. One such mistake made on both sides is the post and pray mistake made by recruiters and the spray and pray mistake make by job seekers. In both instances the individual posts their job/resume in as many places as possible and prays that something/someone comes through.

I’ve talked about why post and pray by recruiters doesn’t work before, so for the purposes of this post, I want to focus on the job seekers. Specifically, job seekers who spray and pray by applying for any job that they may be remotely interested in even if they are nowhere near qualified.

To be fully transparent I should note that this blog post is coming out of a bit of frustration for me right now. I am actively searching for several positions for clients and two of them in particular require very specific skills. I have posted the jobs in a few places in addition to sourcing candidates on my own. I want to kick myself for posting, something I rarely do because I’m now finding myself wasting my time sifting through resumes of people who are clearly not qualified. One role is for an accountant and the other an engineer. Both require very specific experience, justifiably so and yet some of the resumes I’m receiving have zero relevant experience. The job ads are very clear. In one I even say, “this is what I need to see on your resume” and yet I still get resumes that show nothing of the sort.

As a recruiter, it’s really frustrating.

I do not believe that job seekers have to have every single qualification on the job ad to apply. I usually say if you have 75-80% of what they are looking for, apply. But if I need a CPA and you are not one, do not apply.

This is not only frustrating and a waste of time for the recruiter, but it doesn’t help the psyche of the job seeker either. Applying to these jobs is a guaranteed rejection. Guaranteed. Why do anything you know you are guaranteed to be rejected? Getting notice after notice of “we are pursuing other candidates” has to be so defeating. Yet when an individual applies for a job they are not qualified for they are just asking for that notice.

I get that being a job seeker is tough. I get that recruiters/hiring managers often do not make the hiring process easy or friendly. I know we can do better on our side. But job seekers own some of this too and applying for jobs you are clearly unqualified for is not helping to move the process along.

I realize it is often out of frustration or even desperation. Job seekers just need something to come through so they play the numbers game and hope that if they apply to a ton of jobs one will call for an interview. The reality is though that no one is going to call you when your experience has zero correlation to the job at hand. No one.

Focus your time and energy on roles you know you can do with reasonable amounts of training. Do not apply for jobs that require degrees or certifications you do not have. If the job ad states that certain things are required and you do not have them, do not apply. This will make for a much less frustrating process for both job seeker and recruiter.

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