The reason is because 85% of jobs really are hidden.
After recruiting for 6 years, I can tell you exactly what is happening. Here are a few scenarios:
Someone is referred into the opening:
So many companies have a referral policy because the saying goes, “Good people know good people.” When an existing employee refers their friend, even though the friend might be weaker than other candidates in the applicant pool, the friend usually gets the job because they have already been vouched for by someone the company trusts. I have clients who are interviewing roles for positions not posted yet, they accept the offer, and the company says, “Don’t freak out. We need to post the job for 7 days and bring a few candidates in for interviews to document we didn’t discriminate.” So even if you interview or apply online, there could be a chance that the position is already filled. Sad, but true.
The majority of applicants don’t have polished personal brands:
I am alarmed by how many candidates I see with typos or formatting issues on their resumes. So many candidates send out a generic cover letter – it’s better if you just not write one. When we are skimming your resume for 6 seconds before deciding to invest more time into it, it’s crucial that you know what problem you’re solving and making sure your skills and accomplishments can demonstrate this! So many applicants don’t have strong materials and they don’t get selected out of the 500+ other resumes that want that ONE job.
People are applying to jobs they don’t have matching titles to:
If you want to be a project manager and your last title was account manager… guess what? You’re going to get rejected solely based on the fact that there are at least 50 other resumes who’ve applied that do have a project manager title and a PMP certificate. A recruiter’s job is to short list the best qualified matches. So if you’re looking for a career transition, you must use the referral strategy listed above.
Positions are opened up for people who have built relationships:
I have a client who recently got hired for a role that was not even posted. She connected with a hiring manager and led with value and a strong personal brand. The hiring manager said, “I can really use someone like you” and she started to create her own role based on the company’s needs. She went through the interview process by meeting the team she would be working with. Everyone liked her. She snagged a dream job without it being advertised.
Just because you apply online it doesn’t guarantee your resume is read:
With over 3,000 applications to sift through, it’s not humanly possible for me to review every single person. The applicant tracking system helps me rank people by best matches to lowest matches. Once I start seeing irrelevant backgrounds, I stop scanning through. This is when the best matches ahead are brought in through interviews. Once an offer is accepted, we usually go through the system and click “Select All” -> reject. Which is when you get that automated email stating, “Thank you for applying however…”
Most recruiters and headhunters are searching for passive candidates.
And to piggy-back off of dismissing irrelevant backgrounds, most headhunters and recruiters are actually leveraging LinkedIn to reach out to people who have populated in their searches as matching backgrounds. We are inmailing candidates asking if they are interested in new opportunities… even though they didn’t apply or express interest in job searching. Imagine that! Never applying online but getting asked, “Are you interested in a new opportunity?” Cue: happy dance! How does this happen? Hate to sound like a broken record but it goes back to having an optimized LinkedIn profile and overall personal brand!
So moral of the story is build a strong personal brand and learn how to tap into the 85% hidden job market. Join my free 5-day live challenge if you want support around this – it kicks off January 17, 2019 so sign up today!
Leave a comment below to let me know what you struggle with most in your job search!