I’ve been job hunting for a while now. I’ve was being “narrow” in my original search. I have been looking in earnest now for about two weeks. Job hunting sucks!
I remember when I was in DC… Let’s just say… some time ago… I remember thinking the same thing then, and that was in the infancy of the internet. I got to the point where I was going to have to move back home if I didn’t find anything in the next week or two. I hung up the phone explaining this to my family and got the interview call for the job that kept me out there for 8 more months.
Then I moved back to Utah and went through the same thing. Where and how do people get a job? I finally got hired on at the bank where I remained for 15 years (that’s a story for another time).
Now, I find myself in a job market which is booming. I mean truly booming. I look online and I get lost in the search results and applications. There are SO many jobs out there. Some days, in my search, it feels like EVERYONE is hiring.
The problem? Getting off “the list” and into the office. I applied for a job the other day (where isn’t the important detail) but let’s just say it rhymes with glee-bay. When I applied, three days after it was listed, I was among some 150 applicants. What? I really don’t know why I wasted my time, but I went for it.
I know several people who have been looking for jobs the last several months and they are all in this same boat. How do you get your resume out of the applicant pile into the interview stack? The key is not what you know. The key isn’t the experience you have. The key, especially when there are over 100 applicants is WHO you know. That’s right my friends. Who!
Over the course of my banking career, I had the “privilege” of spending several years in the hiring process. I’ll be honest, it was not something I necessarily enjoyed. We would go through this entire process to ultimately pick someone at random. Let me be clear, it wasn’t truly RANDOM. There was an entire process and procedures in WHO we ultimately picked. That said, if someone in the branch (or elsewhere in the bank) knew an applicant they almost always got an interview.
There were times where we had three applicants so we interviewed all of them in hopes of finding a qualified candidate who was also a good fit. However, there were other times where we had 20+ applicants. In no way did we have time to interview 20 or more people. So, we would go down the list, narrow it down, and also take recommendations from coworkers. If they knew someone, they almost always made the interview cut.
Getting in the door is critical to getting a job. I know, I know—obviously. In a marketing which is booming, but there are upwards of 100 people applying for one position at glee-bay, what or how do I endure I make the cut? Well, it’s been over a week so I am fairly certain I haven’t even made the interview cut. Even when I have known someone, it still doesn’t guarantee an interview. I have no idea who the other applicants are and what their qualifications might be. I know I would be a perfect fit for the job, but if there are 20 other applicants and they are narrowing it down to 5 for an interview… A recommendation STILL may be not enough to get me in the door. Yes, this has happened too.
I applied for a position at a local university—again not important which one. I had a recommendation to apply for a specific job. I had them send an email to the hiring manager. It was, with slight differences in WHAT I managed, the job I was doing when I left the bank. I can’t even get an interview doing the EXACT same thing I used to do—with a recommendation.
SO… it’s a rough job market out there even if it is booming. If you are an employer you can not only pick the cream of the crop, you can skim off the VERY top layer of cream and have that. If you are looking for a job like I am… Good luck! Prepare to apply, and apply, and apply again. When you are done, get ready to repeat the entire process. Most important, prepare to be extremely patient and don’t get frustrated when you don’t get the first job you apply for, or the second, or the 20th. The right job, for which you are the top layer of cream, is definitely out there.