It's not unusual, when talking to job seekers, to hear them wax eloquently about what organizations should be looking for when making hiring decisions; how hiring processes should work; what criteria they should have; and other advice for employers.
Much of what they say, makes sense. However, as job seekers, they have virtually no ability to sway the process. Yet they dwell and gripe about the process as it is rather than be willing to change themselves and find a way to work more effectively within it.
That generally makes for a long job search!
Job seekers want to change things that they think make it hard for them personally to land a new job…
- They want organizations to consider similar skills to those listed as requirements in job descriptions when they don't have those exact requirements. When companies get hundreds of applicants for a job posting, however, they will obviously focus on the candidates that match the requirements most closely.
- They want organizations to consider older, more experienced workers even though the job description asks for 2 to 4 years, when they themselves have more than 20 years experience. If the company is concerned about someone feeling challenged in the role versus becoming easily complacent, they will naturally focus on those earlier in their careers.
- They want companies to thoroughly evaluate their resume and give them reasons if they are rejected. When companies receive multitudes of resumes, it's not physically possible to be that thorough.
- They want companies to take a chance on someone with an "outside the box" background because they don't fit the typical profile very well. However, the safest choice for a company is someone that's been there and done that with the same type of role.
While each of these points may have some merit, the reality is that job seekers won't be able to change an employers perspective on any of these by sending their resume in and hoping things will be different.
In order to make any of these things happen, it takes a different approach…
Contacting employers directly. Professionally building relationships and rapport. Creating an interest in you as a potential employee rather than simply a set of skills. Demonstrating being pleasantly persistent.
These are all things that can have an impact an improve your chances of getting a position rather than simply sending in a resume and waiting for a call.
Yet, for most people irritated with the system, they focus almost exclusively on what the employer should change and little to no effort is focused on what they should change in their own approach. Look at your own daily routine in your job search. Are you doing only those things that you are most comfortable doing (yet not producing results)? Or are you willing to do the things necessary to get a job in the circumstances as they are?
The more successful outcomes will come about because you're willing to change your own approach rather than try to change the world around you.