Friday, September 9, 2011

In this difficult job market: Start Applying to Jobs that You Qualify For

What I hear from students all the time is they can't seem to find the job that matches them on the website's of the companies they really want to work for.  They explain to me how they know the companies they want to work for take students from their major but when they go on the website they find nothing that is a good match for them for what they want to do.  

First, you are not alone.  Many, many students come up to me with this problem and they all are very disappointed and feel as though all their hard work in college might not get them the job they want.  Let me answer your question with a real life story that happened early in my recruiting career.

I was out recruiting with a senior engineer.  There was this candidate by the name of Jeff and he was great.  What made him great was his attitude.  His grades were solid and he cleaned up in the interview.  The senior engineer asked him what he wanted to do.  He thought a few seconds and said, "Well, I really like all aspects of engineering but I know what I DON'T want to do."  The senior engineer asked him, "What is that?"  Jeff said, "Structures." 

Well it turned out Jeff really struggled with his Structures class.  He actually had to take it twice to pass and felt he just wasn't good with that subject.

Jeff took that structures job.  And guess what?  He LOVED IT!...and did very well.  He stayed in that group for years. 

Jeff got hired into the company I was recruiting for as a Design Engineer.  He did very well.  But a few years into his job, the program he was on was winding down.  He needed to find a new job in a new group because the project he was working on was nearly complete.  But Jeff made the mistake of staying too long.  While other engineers around him got picked up by different groups, Jeff kept hanging on until finally he had to leave.  But now, there were few jobs to pick from.  He tried everything but the only job he was offered was in, guess what?  STRUCTURES! 

The point of the story is the answer to the question.  The point is you can take all these classes and you can read all the text books, however, sometimes you never know what you are going to like or not like unless you try it.  You can't try it if you don't get your foot in the door. 

For those of you in this situation, start applying to more openings.  Especially in this market, STOP looking for the perfect match and apply to anything and everything that might interest you. Not only that, but apply to all the jobs THAT YOU QUALIFY FOR. Remember, managers are not English Literature professors.  Sometimes their job descriptions to a really, really cool job is just boring or flat when you read it.  Just apply!  You can always say "no."  But give yourself a chance at being contacted by someone who can give you a better idea of what the job will entail.  I have seen this for the last 10 years, some of those jobs you think sound boring on paper, are some of the coolest jobs out there.  APPLY!

Mark Lyden is an expert at getting people jobs…in THIS difficult job market. He has already helped thousands with his advice because it is different and it is PROVEN to work! The advice he gives is not the traditional advice that can be found on the Internet or being given by most career professionals. Now and for the last 15-years, Mr. Lyden has been a Professional Lead Recruiter for a Fortune 50 company. Mark is the author of: College Students: Do This! Get Hired!; Veterans: Do This! Get Hired!; and, Professionals: Do This! Get Hired! Visit for additional information. A substantial portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated back to charity to help veterans and to help the stray and abandoned animals at Logan’s Run Rescue.