by Ben Batten
With job-seekers becoming more active in the market, there is a tendency I have noticed that seems to have become more prevalent recently. More often than not, I have candidates applying for jobs that I have posted, which are not at all relevant to their area of expertise. Not only that, they get into the habit of applying almost daily to the same jobs. What candidates don’t realize is that perceptions play a part in our ability to evaluate the suitability of that candidate. What is also underrated is the part recruiters play in being able to secure the right job for the right person. While we recruiters do try our best to independently and objectively evaluate each application based solely on its merits, truth is absolute objectivity can never be achieved because we are humans at the end of the day and feel and think just as much as the next person. This means that the first impression your recruiter has of you is as important as the first impression your hiring manager or boss has of you.
So what are the impressions you create when you aren’t careful about your job applications?
Lack of commitment and focus
As a candidate if you apply to 10 different jobs, and you are probably only relevant to 1 of those jobs, we would hesitate to pick up the phone to screen you for that role. Clients want focused individuals, who know what they are good at and are working towards a specific goal. Only then do they feel that our candidates will excel at the job they have been hired to do. Even if you are focused and a dedicated, committed individual at your work, your numerous applications will create the exact opposite impression, not just on us recruiters but our clients as well.
Lack of attention to detail
Every job, regardless of how senior or junior, requires a key skill of attention to detail. When you make random applications, it seems to the recruiter that you haven’t even taken enough time to read the details. What faith will a recruiter have in a candidate that isn’t even able to read the job description carefully? How can we then in turn convince a client that tomorrow, if they hire this person, this person is not going to mess up an important project or deal because they missed out on a key point?
Desperation and the potential to be a flight-risk
I appreciate that some people who have been out of a job for a while, may start to get a little impatient with the process and apply for jobs which are not in their area of expertise because its just more important to have a job and an income than to have the perfect job. Even then, you should at least be applying to roles where there is at least one, if not a few, matching skillsets. When you start applying for jobs with zero relevance, it creates the perception that you might literally jump at the first opportunity. Given that clients, and hence by association, recruiters, look for people who will stay long term, there is nothing more scary than a candidate who could be a flight-risk at any time!
Hence, it’s extremely important to treat the job application process with care and caution. A job application is and should be treated as something that you will take should you get it, not as a platform for you to find out about more relevant opportunities.
The key thing to remember is that your recruiter is your representative to the ultimate company you want to work for and its extremely important that they believe in you and your ability to succeed at a job as much as you believe in it yourself!