Job Search Checklist – Item #2: Superior understanding of the hiring process

Jul 24 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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In today’s hypercompetitive job market, what used to be good enough to get you a job … just isn’t good enough anymore.

In today’s job market, with job shortages and an average 1,000 candidates competing for each job, the things that used to get you a job … are no longer enough.

When there are so many candidates competing for jobs, skills aren’t enough to win you a job. With 1,000 competitors on average, it’s easy for employers to find many candidates with the basic skills for the job. So skills aren’t enough …

Being qualified isn’t enough either. When competition for jobs is so massive, there are many qualified candidates. So your qualifications aren’t enough either.

One of the things you need, to be successful in today’s job market, is a superior understanding of the hiring process.

This doesn’t mean an org chart … while org charts can be helpful, they are just starting points. This doesn’t mean knowledge of the deep, dark secret that HR wants you to apply on the company’s website or through a job board. This doesn’t mean knowing how many interviews are in the hiring process, or other hints you might find at … though these are all possible starting points.

This definitely doesn’t mean a job description – it’s outdated and it’s the exact same stale information that all your competitors use. That’s definitely not a superior understanding of hiring process – it’s a lack of understanding of the process using old information.

OK, What’s A Superior Understanding Of The Hiring Process?

A superior understanding of the hiring process means that you’ve spoken with and hopefully met with many people who affect, participate in and influence the hiring process … before you interview with the company. In fact, your best chances come when you’ve met with as many people as possible in the hiring process before you’ve sent in a resume.

Gaining information about the hiring process doesn’t do you much good if you gain it after you’ve sent the employer your resume. Consider this one of the key parts of your company research that you use to prepare your resume for that employer.

You’re probably asking how you can get meetings without presenting a resume?

There are many ways to gain access to the people you need, only one of which is by sending a resume, because sending a resume is a lousy way to gain access today. Given how employers now have to show the government that they run all resumes through an applicant tracking system, it’s unlikely that sending a resume will get you the access you need with the people you need. It’ll get you access to the applicant tracking system – just what you want to avoid.

So let’s hold off sending resumes for a while, bucko.

In order to make your resume stand out from the other 1,000 competitors, you’ll want to include information you learn from information sources and from the hiring manager into your resume before you send it. You’ll want to incorporate what you’ve learned from informational interviews you’ve held with those in the hiring process and from influencers.

Different people within an organization have very different goals. The people in HR, who decide if your resume is sent to the hiring manager, have a much different agenda than your hiring manager ( … ok, if you’re interviewing for an HR job then they may be close). To get the job, you need to satisfy the hiring manager’s needs, but to get the interview, you need to satisfy the HR reps needs, who influences which candidates get interviews.

You have to satisfy both. And neither parties’ needs are included in the job description.

Why do you need all this stuff before sending your resume? How else can you show you’ll be able to help people in the hiring process and hiring influencers, until you first know what their challenges and goals are?

… or you could guess, which is what you’re probably doing now.

And guessing returns very poor odds.


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