Top 5 Reasons You Lose Job Opportunities

Nov 7 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Competing against an average 1,000 applicants in a job market of job shortages, you’re losing out on many job opportunities.

The sheer number of applicants and mass competition aren’t the reasons your job search is tougher. The reason your job search is more difficult is because you haven’t adapted to mass competition and increased numbers of applicants.

Let’s face it … there’s a new normal in today’s job market and you’re trying to get your next job the same way that was good enough to find your last one. It’s just not good enough anymore.

The job market you’re used to featured candidate and skills shortages. During candidate/skills shortages, you could use random strategies, make lots of job search mistakes and yet still stumble across a decent opportunity – That was the nature of candidate shortages.

It was a candidate market … now it’s an employer’s market.

Today’s job market is completely opposite, with job shortages. It shouldn’t surprise you that hiring managers make different decisions on who to interview/hire while employers use different hiring processes when responding to these job market changes.

When employers change but you don’t, you lose job opportunities.

A market of job shortages brings some common reasons candidates lose job opportunities. These reasons keep you hidden from applicant tracking systems, cause you to be passed over on manual review and cause final hiring decisions to go in favor of others.

Once you learn why you’re losing job opportunities, you can make changes to your job search, avoiding these mistakes and turning around your job search.

Here’s the top 5 reasons you lose job opportunities:

  1. Inferior Information: Information is power – When you don’t have superior information compared to other applicants, you’re at a huge disadvantage. The candidate who knows the hiring manger’s priority problems can customize communications to hit the hiring manger’s hot buttons. Inferior information is publicly available, including the company website, Google searches and the job description – It’s what most of you use, because it’s easy to find. Superior information comes from discussions with people inside the company. Without superior information, you’re at a disadvantage to your other competitors – dead in the water in today’s job market.
  2. Commodity Branding: When you brand yourself as a commodity, you look just like every other candidate – which makes you invisible. Employers see an average 1,000 candidates for each advertised position, so invisible candidates don’t get interviews … or the job offer. To get your hiring manager’s attention and get through visual prescreening, you’ll want to create the first impression that you’re the superior candidate for that individual job. Even if you manage to get through pre-screening and gain an interview, commodity candidates rarely get offers over candidates who can show they’ve already solved the hiring manager’s priority problems. You won’t get there if you look just like everyone else.
  3. Standard Resume: If you send a standard or even a tweaked resume, you’re sending basically the same thing for each job. Even if you’re applying for the same job at different companies, each hiring manager has different problems and priorities. When you send the same or a tweaked resume, you’re applying for an average job with average problems and average priorities. You try to appeal to everyone, rather than show each individual hiring manager that you can solve his/her individual and specific problems. You can either try your luck with a standard (or tweaked) resume, or you can improve your odds with a individually customized resume.
  4. Lack Of Value: When your resume lacks value, you end up focusing your readers on your responsibilities and experience – showing yourself at your average. When you demonstrate the value you provided to past employers, you show yourself at your best. When you don’t demonstrate value, you describe yourself on an average day. If you send a resume that undersells you, by describing you on an average day, your target hiring manager compares you to competitors describing themselves at their best. Who would you hire?
  5. Incorrect Keyword Anticipation: If you anticipate the wrong keywords, you’re in the black hole. Recruiters and HR reps are trained to search for 7-10 criteria, so they have to read fewer resumes. The ones that match the exact words or phrases make it to recruiter/HR manual review. The resumes that don’t match criteria are invisible. Candidates try to anticipate keywords one of three ways: 1) Job description; 2) Superior information from company insiders; 3) Guess. After you realize that job descriptions are almost never revised to keep up with current needs, which way do you think will bring you the greatest odds of correctly anticipating keywords?

The job market is definitely more difficult than your last job search and you’ll lose job opportunities no matter what you do.

But you don’t have to lose as many opportunities. You can improve your odds.

By avoiding pitfalls listed above, you’ll start to win consideration for positions you would have otherwise lost.

… Or you can continue doing what you’ve always done, extending your job search, reducing your chances of landing a good new position, while complaining about how the job market has gotten so much tougher.


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

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Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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