Apply for Jobs You Really Want

Applying for jobs you have no interest in could hurt you in the future.

As a recruiter, the need arises to post job requirements on the Internet after I exhaust my other resources and determine that I need some outside help. One would assume that everyone who replies has thoroughly read the job description, location of the workplace, and available pay rate before applying. This past week, I received a few reminders that people seem to send resumes regardless of whether or not they fit the job, and even more annoying, if they really want the job.

One resume arrived in my email this week applying for a job as a Human Resources Coordinator. The candidate had spent the past 20 years as a Gemologist with absolutely no mention of anything related to HR. Another candidate applied for a position requiring at least 5 years experience assembling large industrial machinery but had spent about 10 years as a department head in a grocery store with no other experience listed!  A posting for a part-time person to provide desktop support at a pay rate of not more than $20 hourly for 25 hours per week drew a response from someone informing me they are a perfect fit but will only consider full time positions at a minimum of $40 hourly! 

My final example comes from a phone call I placed to a woman who sent in a wonderful resume in response to an ad for a job in Manhattan. Her mother answered the phone and asked where the job was located since her daughter was out at the moment. Upon hearing Manhattan, she scolded me since her daughter only wants a job on Long Island. I politely (though it was hard to do) informed her that since her daughter specifically wrote me about the job, I really needed her to call me. Since I never heard back (and found 2 very willing people to submit to my client), I will assume that either the candidate did not pay attention to location before replying or the mom never gave her my message.

Some of you may feel that a candidate should apply for every job posted in an effort to find work. I will leave you with this thought, I do remember people who respond to jobs they either do not remotely fit or have no intention of taking.  If they contact me later on for a better fitting opportunity, I will remember them and put them toward the bottom of my list! Once a candidate leaves a poor impression, it is hard for me to send them out to my valued clients.

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Sly June 18, 2012 at 11:19 PM
If these people are on unemployment extension, they are REQUIRED to apply to THREE jobs per week. This may be why you are seeing resumes that do not fit the job description.
Harold Levin June 19, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Sly, You brought up a valid point, however, candidates still need to be mindful not to be apply to jobs so far off base that it is obvious they are just meeting a quota. Unemployment laws probably could fill 3 blog articles for me at some point down the road!
BoroGuy June 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Not for nothing, but on the flip side; I can't tell you how many job postings I receive that do not match my resume. Harold, you may be the exception, but it should be noted, it works both ways, and it's equally frustrating.
Harold Levin June 19, 2012 at 06:24 PM
BoroGuy: That is exactly why I try to block options on search engines that automatically send emails to candidates. There is not a computer out there that really knows how to match candidates to jobs (or jobs to candidates)!
Alicia R. Camlibel, Ph.D., LPC June 20, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Harold, what do you suggest people do when they are out of work, looking for jobs, and struggling to find work? Many clients I work with try to make the stretch for many positions because they are on unemployment extension and/or they are looking to take their skills and transfer them to a new position where they are hoping they have the possibility of getting at least an interview.
Hookerman June 20, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Not sure I agree with this 100 %. Sometimes an inexperienced person with drive, desire and motivation to learn is better than an experienced person with a lackadaisical attitude.
Harold Levin June 20, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Alicia, I understand your point but, just today, I received a resume of someone who has been in retail sales for about 15 years applying for a job requiring a minimum of 10 years purchasing management supervising buyers, supply chain personnel, etc. There is a difference between stretching and being unrealistic. Now, if the job called for a buyer with knowledge of the product this person had sold, I could understand the rationale better.
Harold Levin June 20, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Hookerman, There was a time when employers could be convinced of this concept but I think there is less risk taking going on right now. It would be great to give people chances to prove themselves during a training period but many hiring managers tell me they simply don't have the staff available to provide the training.
Jeffrey David Halpern June 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM
An alternative to the job hunt is to cnsider a YOB (Your Own Business). There are many who have lft the corporate world for the pursuit of their passion. I have a friend who worked for a large company but had a pure love for BBQ. On weekends he would do the town fair circuit to get his name out and worked it up to having a rrestaurant in Jefferson known as Texas Smoke. He turned his passion into success. Of course when one takes on such an undertaking be ready for the costs attributed to it. I believe one of the best YOB's is that of a Realtor. You are only as good as you want to be, the costs are minimal because you must work for a broker and the sky is the limit. ( http://madison.patch.com/blog_posts/get-a-yob)
Frazure June 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Jeffery - I have been licensed as a NJ realtor since 2004 and have very few transactions under my belt. I have yet to make any real success out of it. Any thoughts on how to to make a success out of it......I am approaching age 65. I am working p/t which provides a "reliable" but much smaller income than successfully operating a realty business, but it eats up time and energy and as a result, the real estate license hangs dormant.
Hepcat June 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I left being a Realtor behind to launch a real estate marketing company. My goal was to help Realtors learn to market homes AND themselves. I used the tools that worked for me, plus the knowledge I gained while working with some of the top agents in North Jersey. The business has evolved into a referral business, helping clients find the right Realtor for them. I've handed the reigns over to my partner so I can pursue other ventures, but I'd like to offer a little input for Frazure: 1) If you're going to be a Realtor and find success, it is a full-time job. Like Jeffrey said, you are only as good as you want to be. Your results will coincide with the amount of time and energy you put in. Unfortunately, working as a part time Realtor, many potential clients will view you as a hobbyist instead of the professional that you really are. 2) Market YOU! The listings are out there, but you have to work to find them or find ways to bring them to you. Market yourself regularly! It's doesn't have to be expensive. 3) Develop your web presence! About 80% of my clients say their search for a new home starts on the internet - Realtor.com, local newspaper sites and more and more now, Craigslist. And when they want to find a Realtor, it's usually someone that has a listing they like. There is so much I could say here - but the bottom line is, Real Estate is still good business, even in a tough market. And the rewards go to those that work for it!
Hepcat June 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM
PS - I just Tweeted the article you linked to, Jeffrey. Great work on that!
Kay June 21, 2012 at 01:31 PM
if they applied to three jobs that fit their resume, they'd have a better chance of coming out of unemployment
Sly June 21, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I am not saying it's prudent to apply for jobs that are not a fit. Just saying that may be why people are stretching. I actually applied for a job in an industry in which I had no background and got an interview! Not common but it does happen!
Hookerman June 21, 2012 at 02:00 PM
First of all, even an experienced applicant is going to require some level of training because every organization is unique as to their methods and policies. Rarely can you hire someone who can hit the ground running without any type of training at all. As an IT manager, I’ve had bad experiences with highly experienced people because they tend to want to do things their own way, and resist conforming to doing things in new ways. Sometimes that can be worse than a person with little or no experience, who is eager to work for very hard to learn, and assimilate to the organizations methods. Some of your advice is good, such as applying for a job you have no attention or taking, or letting your mother speak for you, but I would never discourage anyone from applying for a job they really desire.
Jeffrey Halpern June 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Frazure, there is a way to be successful it takes networking, creating a niche in this biz, having a coach or mentor to get you there while making your actions accountable to yourself, and being part of a company that cares about your biz and not whether or not the office sells mortgages and title or having to compete with your broker/manager or not receiving viable leads. Give me a call, I would love to discuss it with you. 973.377.4400.
Jeffrey Halpern June 21, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Hepcat, Thank you and I agree. The primary purpose is to understand that you first step is becoming part of a group, community, whatever, and show people you care about them. Once they see that, they feel a comfort level that can relate to assisting them in their biggest financial decision. I believe you need to get your name out there, but not as a me, me, and only me, structure, but more in a you, you, and only you. Most buyers and sellers think of bottom line and they should. Once they realize that you are on their side and not on your own, you will thrive. The best part of the closing is not getting your fee for service but when a seller or buyer unsolicitely says to you, thank you for helping me, I will tell all my friends and family how great you did and how happy we are that we chose you to assist. And always remember to return the thank you and then continue to contact them on a regular basis after the fact. 80% of buyers, never you the same agent when they sell, Why? Because most agents love you then leave you once they receive their fee. The most successful agents do not. They are there for as long as the client wants them there. Hepcat - I would love the opportunity to speak with you to continue this conversation. Thanks for your post.
Warren June 22, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Having been in large corporate HR for over 25 years and recently laid off, it is disheartening to see what has happened to the overall recruitmenet process in corporate America. Corporate recruiting departments and their processes are terribly broken, age and reverse discrimination run rampant, and headhunters for the most part have lost their professionalism. I know what I am talking about as I have worked for over 18 years with 2 Fortune 20 companies recognized as having progressive and leading HR departments. By the way, my criticism of Corporate recruitment extends to these companies as well.When I worked in corporate recruitment in the eighties, if I behaved like the typical corporate recruiter today, I would have been quickly fired. What do I mean by 'behavior?" General rude and unprofessional behavior like never returning candidate calls, communicating 95% by e-mail, no real knowledge of the position requirements, unable or unwilling to push hiring managers to create reasonable minimal requirements and to hire decisively and quickly, rather than interviewing a zillion candidates.Good recruiting is like being a broker. You must have knowledge of the critical needs of both parties and manage the buy decision. Part of this "dumbing down" of corporate recruiting is a function of cost and not understanding the strategic role and advantage of recruitment.
Madison Cyclist June 22, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Warren - it's not just HR, it's any corporate function that isn't making it rain revenue. If you're over 40 and making north of 100k, and you aren't "client facing", you're at risk.
Harold Levin June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Warren, Your remarks are very true. I occasionally miss the days when we did not have email to rely on and used typewriters to prepare resumes which we often hand delivered to the HR manager who would often pick up the phone and bring the hiring manager into their office so we could discuss the candidate's skills live and in person. One of my biggest frustrations right now is when HR pleads with me for quick response time on resumes then takes 2 weeks before even replying to my email (forget about live phone calls)!
Steve June 22, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I have been searching for a job for about 6 months now as my current contract is due to expire in less then 2 months. A got a lot of spam for jobs that was no where near my criteria. I did submit to jobs where maybe i was a 50% match on the hard skills and close to 100% match on the soft skills. But the focus seem to be 100% on the hard skills. So I agree the process is not like it use to be and needs fixing. Anyway I finally got a very good offer for another contract position at a competing company So when I gave notice my current employer finally started to move to convert me and now I wait. It has been progressing fast so I am very hopeful it will finalized soon, the approvals are all done just going through the lengthy HR process.
Harold Levin June 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Steve, I hope we hear continued good news from you. You are correct in that very few employers are will to compromise on hard skills right now. Soft skills are almost a forgotten piece of the equation today and that is a true shame. Best of luck!
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