Oftentimes, we hear job seekers gripe about employers in regards to their job search. In fact, a recent TalentDrive survey spelled it out perfectly: 71 percent of job seekers were pessimistic about their career search, feeling they possessed the required skill set but were not getting hired. In addition, 37 percent of job seekers were extremely frustrated, with no hope for improvement in sight and 34 percent were unhappy with the environment, but starting to see signs of improvement.
Typically, we look at these situations from the job seeker's perspective. The employer may seem like the bad guy, but in reality, there are plenty of things employers wish candidates knew -- for instance:
Don't be generic: Employers may receive 100 applications per job opening, which can quickly be whittled down to 40. Why the immediate cut? Generic applications and resumes could be the reason. When it comes down to it, many employers are looking for employees that are going to "wow" them. If you apply to a job with a resume that's not tailored to the position, doesn't show real results, or fails to leave an impact, you could be put into the generic pile -- and that's not one that's going to land you a job.
Only apply for jobs you're qualified for: Want to apply for that job you don't have enough experience for? Think again. 30 percent of recruiters are turned off by candidates who apply for jobs they aren't qualified for, and an additional 40 percent go as far as blacklisting those who do so. So instead of harming your chances (and possibly your reputation), apply for positions that you're qualified for. This not only helps you to actually land an interview and possibly a job, but also saves the recruiter time in their search for the right candidate.
Remember the power of social networking sites: Social networking sites can do wonders for job seekers. However, these sites can also be a curse in disguise. A CareerBuilder survey noted that 34 percent of hiring managers who currently research candidates through social networking sites said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate. Therefore, if you're active on social networking sites while simultaneously job seeking, it's in your best interest to enable some privacy settings, post interesting content, and avoid posting any questionable material.
Remember, when it comes to social networking sites, if you have to really think about something before you post, you more than likely shouldn't.
Show, don't tell: Any job seeker can talk about the things they've accomplished, list a few bullet points on a resume, or note an experience that was particularly rewarding. However, how about showing it? For instance, a portfolio -- online or offline -- can clearly illustrate what you've done in the past. Videos or graphics can also get the job done. After all, many of us learn visually. A tangible item which unquestionably shows why you're qualified can be the ticket you need to the job.
Be memorable: As I noted above, employers may receive tons of applications. Why are you any different than the next guy? Being memorable does more than help you stand out in a sea of candidates. It helps you to stand out in the mind of the employer. It's the one thing that keeps the employer guessing. And, it's something that could land you a job. Whether you have a humorous cover letter, create a special relationship with the hiring manager on Twitter, or start an online hiring campaign, being memorable may be the one tool in your arsenal that gives you the extra push you need.
While job seekers have every right to be frustrated with employers in their search, try to look at things from the other perspective. It could be the insight you need to land the position.
What do you think? What are some other things employers may want the unemployed to know?
Sudy Bharadwaj is a co-founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a platform that helps job seekers find a job via their social networks. Learn how Sudy and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.